New Year – New…
Another year has come and gone. Where do we go from here? The short answer would be anywhere but back. It is always important to learn from our past, but equally important to move forward and pursue those things that help us to grow and flourish. I have heard so many people say how grateful they are that 2020 is over and behind us. True – it was an especially hard year; harder for some than others to be sure. Now it is time to look forward with hope –hope that comes from God through Jesus Christ!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
~ 2 Corinthians 5:17 ~
So, what shall we do? I believe the call is clear. We are to love God with all that we have and all that we are. And, we are to love one another. It’s pretty simple really. God has forgiven us for all of our mistakes and wrongdoings, giving us the freedom to move forward without guilt and remorse, two things that can keep us stuck. That requires us, however, to make some changes; changes in our outlook, our attitude and our behaviors. If we are to truly repent and move forward, that requires that we not repeat the same mistakes of the past. Easier said than done – don’t I know it! We can do this! The thing that helps the most, for me anyway is to stay focused on God, stay in His Word, and grow ever closer to Him. There are several ways to do this, even during this time of COVID. I start each day with a grateful prayer to God, expressing my thanks to Him for all the ways in which He has blessed my life. I ask for His guidance throughout the day then do my absolute best to follow that, opening my mind and my heart to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I have to check in with another follower of Christ, just to make sure I am on the right track. Usually, when I start my day with an attitude of gratitude and a focus on God’s plan for me, things generally go well for that day. This is not to say that I am perfect; far from it! I do know, however, that on the days that I skip these most vital practices, things can get a little rough for me. I also try to stay centered on God throughout the day and devote periods of time to reading scripture and focusing on different readings and meditations for the day. These things help me to stay centered and in the right frame of mind; the frame of reference that is focused on God and His purpose for my life. Loving others and being of service just seems to flow naturally from this attitude of gratitude and reverence to God. It is really difficult to feel negatively toward others or situations when I am focused on the blessings and all for which I am grateful! I am better able to serve others and carry out God’s will in my life.
Outside of myself and my home there are other ways that I can stay connected and grow in my relationship with Christ, including worship and Bible study. Let us never forget that God has made it possible for us to gather in a variety of ways in this season and I cherish each of those moments!
God’s blessings upon you!! ~ Lisa Bailey