The hustle and bustle of Christmas 2014 has officially passed. The memories and moments remain forever hidden within my heart — isn’t God good? 🙂
This morning I had nothing pressing to do. Nothing, wow. I have the day off from work, and the Christmas to-dos have been done. So I enjoyed the luxury of an extended quiet time with God and His Word. Priceless.
As we head toward the end of this year and the start of a fresh new one, some jewels of wisdom stood out in my reading this morning.
Some “resolutions” for the clean slate of 2015:
Generously and Willingly Give of Your Self.
” ‘If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs. Beware lest there be a wicked thought in your heart, saying, “The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand,” and your eye be evil against your poor brother and you give him nothing, and he cry out to the LORD against you, and it become sin among you. You shall surely give to him, and your heart should not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the LORD your God will bless you in all your works and in all to which you put your hand. For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, “You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.” ‘ ” ~ Deuteronomy 15:7-11
” ‘Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you.’ ” ~ Deuteronomy 16:17
Be Joyful! And Gather Together With Other Believers.
” ‘You shall rejoice before the LORD your God…at the place where the LORD your God chooses to make His name abide…’ ” ~ Deuteronomy 16:11 a, c
Be Wary of False Teaching! Keep Your Nose in God’s Word.
” ‘And if you say in your heart, “How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?”– when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.’ ” ~ Deuteronomy 18:21-22
Don’t Let Fear Influence Your Decisions. Remember GOD is With You!
” ‘And he shall say to them, “Hear, O Israel: Today you are on the verge of battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them; for the LORD your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.” ‘ ” ~ Deuteronomy 20:3-4
There are so many other things we need to apply to our lives. But really, doesn’t it all boil down to this?
“Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’ Jesus said to him, ‘ “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.’ ” ~ Matthew 22:37-40
The recipe for a “happy” new year? Love God with all of your self. Love your neighbor as your self. And repeat. 🙂