Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

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Friday, January 13, 2017

One Thing for twenty17



The door swung wide open and we stepped into a brand new year.

Some of us leaped with gusto, some of us gingerly tiptoed over the threshold.

For me, there's been a sense of great urgency.

Life rushes on like the last thin line of sand slipping through the hourglass. Try to slow it down, or hold it in your hand and it trickles away right before your eyes.

Our lives really are a whisper of wind, a puff of the briefest breath.


King David sang, "Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!" {Psalm 39:5}

And King Solomon, in all of his wisdom wrote, "For who knows what is good for man while he lives the few days of his vain life, which he passes like a shadow?" {Ecclesiastes 6:12}

Yet, the Son of God came to our world, entered into time, and took on flesh, that we might know God and have abundant life.




Last year many of us walked through excruciating heart ache.

Many peeled back the dressings on wounds and uncovered shattered relationships, self-absorbed lives, and staggering loss.

The world raged. Innocent blood spilled. The earth shook. Families rivaled. Some spiraled low, some seethed with bitterness, others pushed through the pain and turned numb. Many blind to the rot of sin in the world.

For some there was healing, a few knew a peace that passes all understanding in spite of all the jagged pieces. Some pressed on to know the joy of the Lord in the midst of all present circumstances.

And all the time, hope rang out, never growing dim.




This new year open before us is a gift to unwrap, each day that we are given is one that the Lord has made and we do well to give thanks and rejoice and be glad in each one.

How many of us have started off a new year with great intentions and brilliant resolutions to improve our habits, our well-being, our life. The most dedicated among us make it past the end of January.

I've found that giving my year "one word" to help remind myself of the truth and promises of God has been a better way for me to begin and live out a year.

The year I survived open-heart surgery and 80 days in ICU, my one word was "with". At the crack of that new year dawning, I wrote:

"I don't know what this year may bring, but when I understand that He is with me I do not need to fear. I have confidence in His presence, that He will complete the work He has determined. I can fight the fight, walk the narrow path because He goes before me."

How often I needed to remind my soul that God was with me and would never leave me that year.

Last year my word was "strength".


My weakness was so evident in every area of my life that I knew I needed to trust that the Lord would strengthen me to accomplish what He had purposed for me and I eagerly anticipated God to work all things out for His glory.

What if this year we don't set out to make a list of great things to accomplish, but focus on one thing?


This year my focus is on more than just 'one word'. It's still not a long list of resolutions, but one main focus: One Thing.

What I hope, earnestly desire, pray all of my life will centre around.


***That I may Know Christ***
Forgetting what lies behind, whether it was remarkable feats or regrettable failures.

And straining, pressing on, reaching out over toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. To know Him completely in all His surpassing glory and goodness, to be conformed into Christ's likeness.

The Apostle Paul, even near the end of his life, still desired above all to know Christ.

It's an all encompassing focus for life; something that cannot be fully attained in this life, but the one thing that we should strain intensely towards to take hold of, to make God's aim for us our own aim. 





God made our reaching the goal possible by sending the Son of God, the Incarnate Christ, Immanuel: ‘God with us’, to take on human flesh and die an atoning death so that we could take hold of the prize to know God.

It is what our hope hinges on.

Jesus said, "I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." {John 10:9-10}

This year may it be our all encompassing focus to know Christ, to grow in deeper intimacy with our Lord Jesus Christ, to love Him with all of our heart, soul, strength and mind.

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