Catching Up and Finishing Well: Into the Word Weeks 42-52

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Over the last few weeks, my voice has been silent in this space. I am stronger and surer now after walking through a dark valley with my Jesus.  I am so thankful for God’s healing and look toward 2013 with renewed hope.

Today, I wanted to close out the “Into the Word Study” by sharing my takeaways from the last 10 weeks of study:

Week 42:  One of my favorite songs by the Contemporary Christian group Third Day is “Show me Your Glory.”  This week’s lesson focused on a text in Isaiah 6 and challenged me to remember that during a crisis God will be clearly visible to me if only I first see my need for a redeemer and Savior.  The self-sufficient will never catch a glimpse of His majesty.

Week 43:  I love stories with a happy ending.  Don’t you?  The story of the healing of the blind man in John 9 highlights the importance of “letting your little light shine” when God’s touch has miraculously brought you new sight.  Sharing your story could lead to another person’s freedom in Christ.

Week 44:  In light of the school shooting in Connecticut, I was comforted with the thought that this world is ultimately not my home.   Matthew 24 warns us to be “on watch” as end times signs will continue to increase in alarming intensity.  I Peter 4:7 challenges us to be serious and watchful in our prayers as the final day approaches.

Week 45:  What impossible situation are you facing today?  Joshua 3 and 4 tells the amazing story of the Israelites miraculously crossing the Jordan.  Once they reached the Promised Land, each tribe grabbed a stone from the midst of the sea to place on shore as part of a memorial altar.  I was reminded that my life is to be a “living stone” to testify of God’s goodness.

Week 46: As we close the year out, there is a lot of talk on the television about who is #1 — #1 at the box office, #1 in the athletic arena, and #1 on the musical air waves.  Colossians 1 points out clearly that there is really only one person who is #1 — Jesus stands in history as supreme in creation and in authority.  How comforting it is to know that He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3)!  His power supersedes all.

Week 47:  Whenever I need to open up a stubborn jar, I call my husband as he is stronger than I will ever be.   Habakkuk 3 reminds us that during trials, God is present and aiding us in our weakness with His supernatural power.   As we rejoice in His help, others will take notice.

Week 48:  My hubby and I just spent a few days at the beach here in South Florida, and the sign of our sojourn is evident on his face as he has a nice tanned countenance.   In Exodus 34, when Moses spent time with God on the mountain, his face was alight with the glory of God.   This so reminds me of the importance of daily sitting at His feet so that my life reflects Him to all I encounter.

Week 49:  During this season of Christmas cartoon specials, I have revisited the story of Kris Kringle through the eyes of Hollywood.  This fictional character’s yearly visit is magical for youngsters, but his power is not divine.   Only Jesus has the power to transform a life.  John 1 tells us that He became flesh and dwelled among us — God with us, Emmanuel.  This is the greatest story of all.

Week 50:   News travels quickly in our modern world of Twitter and Facebook.   As I read the Christmas story in Luke 2, I realized that the shepherds would have been expert tweeters.  When these simple men came face to face with the Savior, their response was to “make haste,”  to “make Him widely known,” and to “glorify and praise God.”  How quick am I to make Jesus known to others?

Week 51:  Today, neon signs line the main thoroughfare of cities calling shoppers to follow the light with their shopping dollars.   As I read the Christmas story in Matthew 2, I see that the wise men of old followed a bright shining star to find the Christ child.  Daily, we each are called to shine brightly and point others to the Savior.  How else will they see Him if we don’t point them on their way?

Week 52:   For so many, Christmas is all about getting gifts.   We look with longing to the wrapped packages under the tree all December and our greedy hearts rejoice when we unwrap our prizes on the morning of the 25th.   As I read John 13, I realized that on His last day on earth, Jesus decided to give a gift to those closest to Him.   He didn’t choose riches or gifts pleasing to the eye.  His gift involved setting aside pride in order to selflessly aid those in his circle of influence.   What did Jesus do?  He washed the disciples’ feet.  He explained that He was giving each of us an example to follow — we, too, are called to grab a towel and get ready to serve.

So, 2012 has come to a close.   I am thankful for God’s grace, which has helped me meet each day.   May God richly bless each of you, my readers, in the coming year ahead.  My theme for 2013 will be “fruitfulness,” and I will be sharing weekly reflections from a devotional on prayer that I will be digging into daily.   Here’s to a “fruitilicious” 2013!

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