Monday, January 9, 2012

Expect Miracles

Currently, I am reading A Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers. I cannot put it down! [She is such a captivating author. If you have never read any of her books, you are missing out and I recommend getting into your bookstore as soon as possible to appreciate this woman's gift of writing!] Through my time spent reading A Lineage of Grace I am learning a lot, since it is based on five women of the Bible. The first four women are all from the Old Testament (Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba) which has opened my eyes to so much that the Old Testament holds. God specifically is drawing out the miracles mentioned to grasp my attention.

This God of the Old Testament is the same God we serve today. "For I the LORD do not change..." -Malachi 3:6 However, I know I am guilty of minimizing His power and might to be less today than it was in Bible times. If God does not change, why would the magnitude of His miracles change? God provided a way for the Israelites to cross the Jordan River to claim the land He promised them. "the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap very far away, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, and those flowing down toward the Sea of Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. And the people passed over opposite Jericho. Now the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firmly on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, and all Israel was passing over on dry ground until the nation finished passing over the Jordan." -Joshua 3:16-17 And for some reason, there are many times I doubt that God will provide such simple things like food, money, and housing  for me. How ridiculous! I believe He is good, He loves me, and has a plan for my life. Why would I then not believe He would exude power to achieve that plan?
I am now feel challenged to pray, truly believing in the same, powerful God that performed miracles in the Old Testament.

"Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who delight in them. Full of splendor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever." -Psalm 111:2-3

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

All Things New

The calendar flips to January and many get excited to start something new, "put the past behind" them, begin new year's resolutions...

For most, that's easier said than done.

While the new year brings a fresh calendar, many new items from Christmas gifts, and maybe changes for some, it more so brings an opportunity for a change of mindset. And as I thought about change and newness, I was reminded that I am new in Christ.

Tyler and I recently moved back to Pinellas County (where we both grew up). Being in the familiar territory brings back many memories-- some God-honoring and some from the days I was living in sin. Each day since we've been back here, I have had to make a choice: to dwell on who I was or believe who I am. I have chosen to recall the Truth hidden in my heart and rest in Christ....

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. -Ezekiel 36:26

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. -2 Corinthians 5:17

As Christians, we are called to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. -Ephesians 4:24. 

To me this means that each day we are faced with a choice. We are to believe what God says about us- that we are new! We are to live by His Spirit that now dwells within us, walk in righteous ways that honor Him, and keep our eyes fixed on the holiness of Christ. No matter how much we look at the past, it does not change. But through the power of God, our future can be bright... it can be eternal. To be new, forgiven, and have a future in heaven? I don't care what holiday or year it is.... that is reason enough to celebrate! To being NEW!