Saturday, December 19, 2015
“Create & Restore”
By Zach Wood
Psalm 51:10-12 (NIV)
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”
As we come close to the end of another year, many thoughts are going through people’s minds. These thoughts can be anything from complete joy to complete sorrow. The end of the year brings many thoughts about what our lives have been and what can be as we look to begin a new year.
Sometimes we really mess up during the year, but there are also times when we haven’t messed up, but bad things have ended up happening to us for one reason or another. This can really make us angry and distraught in so many ways. Maybe this year has been a really tough year for you with family or friends having a very difficult time. Maybe it’s been a tough year with your job. Maybe it’s been a tough year with some family situations you’d dealt with in your home.
There are endless scenarios we could bring up that can make a challenging year. At the end of the year, we tend to be in two different worlds, so to speak. We often dwell on the past year and the many things that we have done or said or that have happened to us. Then we also think of the New Year and all that we want to accomplish or try new.
Whatever your thoughts are at this time, there are seasons of sorrow and seasons of joy. Every human being experiences this. David is no exception. This is one of my favorite passages in Psalm. David became a man after God’s heart. He messed up big time and caused much grief, not only to himself, but also to others. He had a lot of pain as he thought about the past and then looked to the future.
We all need to ask God to create in us a pure heart for various reasons. We have thought and said bad things that we need to repent of. We also need God to restore to us the joy of His salvation and the life He has given us. He wants to create and restore in us a joy that only He can bring.
Whatever you might be thinking about as you end this year and begin a new one, why not ask God this very day, and every day to create within you a sincere desire to have a pure heart and a restored life through Him? He is so willing if you are willing to open up and let Him.
Monday, December 7, 2015
By Zach Wood
“So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.”
Christmas time is one of my favorite times of the year. Things are so festive and alive with different colors no matter where you go. The feeling of Christmas and festivities is all around and people seem to have a different kind of spirit. This is also one of my favorite times of the year because we talk about and focus on the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. He was born into this world and had a mission unlike any other mission anyone has ever had before.
The stories we hear each year about the birth of Jesus are wonderful to remember and cherish. But I want to take this a bit further than just celebrating His birth. Not only was the Kind of Kings and Lord of Lords born into this imperfect world, He also lived a sinless life and went on a mission to make sure that we knew He loved us.
I am not only thankful for the time we spend focusing on celebrating His birth, but I’m also so thankful to know that we have a Savior Who came to this earth and lived among us. He lived among us filthy people and connected with those who truly needed Him. He came for the sick and for those who were completely lost. He reached out to people who were outcasts. He loved the unlovable. He opened His life to connecting to those whom most of us probably would never consider coming close to.
The one thing I am so thankful for is that not only did He come to rescue us from our sin, but also He knows and understands everything we go through. He knows the hurts we have. He knows the pain we endure in every situation and circumstance that is hard. He knows how we are feeling even when we can’t seem to really explain to anyone else. He knows what we are truly feeling even when we can’t express it to Him. He understands and knows all that we feel and all that we go through.
This time of year is hard for many people. A lot of people dread this time of year because of bad memories for one reason or another. If you are one of those people who hurt this time of year and you don’t know who to reach out to, remember that Jesus, and only Jesus, truly knows your heart and your hurt more than anyone. He totally understands when no one else does. He came to live among us and reach out to those who were hurting.
Reach out to Him. He understands and loves you and wants to hold you.