Saturday, December 31, 2011

Don't Miss It!

"Don't Miss It!"
By Zach Wood
Psalm 40:5
Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done.  The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.

The past few days, as I have read this passage, I have been thinking about the past year and all the things that I have possibly missed that God has done in my life and around me.  Of course, I cannot recall all the things God has done throughout the whole year, but I do remember many things.  I am sure many of you would also admit that you have missed important opportunities and have regretted them.

This time of year, we tend to reflect on the past and make choices that will better our lives and get us started possibly in a new direction.  To be honest, I do not really make New Year's resolutions.  I think about a lot of things I need to do better in my walk with Christ, but I do not necessarily write out a list of resolutions.  I have done that in the past, but as many people do, I tend to forget about the list and go on about my daily life.  I began just asking God to open my eyes to new opportunities and ways to be a better husband, father and servant.  Please understand I am not saying that making resolutions are in any way wrong or bad.  It is just my personal preference.

I miss a lot of things.  I really wish I could remember more things.  I do not have a great memory.  My wife is the one who keeps up with the calendar events.  If it was up to me to put events down on calendar, we would miss things all the time.  I am glad she takes care of that.  I miss things all the time it seems.  I become so forgetful.  I get so busy do my own things and have my own agenda that I forget what is really important. 

I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit's presence in my life to convict me and remind me that I need to take time to remember the many wonders God has done and continues to do in my life.  When I read this passage last week, it really stuck with me and I felt led to use it in this devotional as an end of year encouragement for remembrance. 

God is such a Mighty God and His ways are so great and awesome that no one can fully understand them.  I am so thankful for all that God has done in and through my life this past year.  He has taught me a lot and has broken me down many times to help me grow the right ways. 

I so much do not want to miss things God has in store for me.  I want to be in tune to what He wants to show me and teach me.  It is so easy for me to become distracted and miss so much.  Those opportunities come and go sometimes so fast that I do not even notice they were before me just waiting for me to notice.  That is sad.  But, I do serve a God who gives me more chances to see things He wants me to notice and act upon. 

I encourage you, as you end this year and begin a new one, simply ask God to show you what is truly important in your life.  Do not worry about making an exhaustive list if you are into making lists.  Keep it simple and add to it if you feel the need to list more.  I encourage you to do this to keep your priorities in check as you focus on your walk with Christ each day.  Don't miss what God has in store for you to see as you walk with Him each day.  Many are the wonders He has done and continues to do in and through you. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Are You There Yet?

"Are You There Yet?"
By Zach Wood
Psalm 15
Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary?  Who may live on your holy hill?  He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman, who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the Lord, who keeps his oath even when it hurts, who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.  He who does these things will never be shaken.

I was reading this passage the other day for my devotional time and when I finished reading it, I said, "Lord, I have so far to go to have a really close relationship with You."  This psalm of David is powerful.  I questioned my motives and the pureness of my heart.  I started reading again through this psalm and saw so many areas of my life that have fallen far from a close relationship with God my Creator.

This psalm is quite a mouthfull. I would encourage you, not just now, but maybe for the next few days or week, read through this and just ask God to examine your heart and reveal to you what you might need to change so that you can dwell in His sanctuary with a pure heart. 

As the title suggests, are you there yet?  In your heart, do you feel you are able to dwell in His Sanctuary with a pure heart?  Are there things in your life that are keeping you from being completely open and honest with God and growing closer to Him?  Are you at odds with so many others in your life that you just cannot seem to focus on what is real? 

When we come to Him with an open and honest heart and truly desire to dwell in His Sanctuary and follow Him, wonderful things happen in our lives.  We desire to have peace in our relationships with others and treat others with love and respect.  When we have Jesus Christ in focus, then the other areas will follow.  It will not be easy, but with Christ at our side and walking with us, it will be better than living a life of chaos. 

Are you there yet?  If not, what are you doing about it?