The New Year is just around the corner and on the top of many resolution lists will be to lose weight. That resolution along with many others will end in the ash heap of frustration in just a few weeks. I have never been a big New Year’s resolution guy to begin with but I do like to evaluate myself from time to time. In that evaluation, I always see some things I need to lose and some things I need to gain.
The few days following Christmas is like coming down from a sugar high. This Christmas season started right after Walmart put away their scary masks and it began in earnest the day after Thanksgiving. The weeks leading up to Christmas is filled with scheduling family gatherings, shopping, wrapping, cooking, and decorating. There is a lot of energy that goes into the Christmas season.
I love Christmas! I love most of the trappings of Christmas–I even love fruitcake but Christmas is not just about the trees, lights, presents, or even the family get-togethers. Beyond all these things, Christmas represents the great love of God for the world, manifested in the First Advent of His Son, Jesus Christ. The scripture says it so well, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 NKJV).
No, it’s not a diet plan. It is so simple but requires some dedication–reading through the entire Bible every year. This is something I have done for many years and one of the best things I have ever done. The Psalmist said, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105 NKJV). It takes some diligence but it has great rewards. Here are a few reasons I do it:
I remember feeling a burden and calling from God to do ‘something’. At the time, I did not know what the ‘something’ was and what it would look like but the ‘something’ was nagging at my heart. Eventually, I stepped out and began to do something. The genesis of Pathway Outreach Ministries began with a ‘something’ — reaching out to kids in a local trailer park. Pathway Outreach has evolved over time as God has opened more and different doors of opportunities.
We live in a world that celebrates bravado and even ruthless behavior. Even the word meekness is thought to be weakness by many. Biblical meekness is actually restrained power; having the power over someone but exercising mercy instead.
In the world of social media and in the nature of man, there is a desire by many to be recognized and perhaps even be famous. Many want to become the next YouTube hit or to have five thousand “likes” on Facebook. Perhaps we should be more concerned about being known in Heaven.
We exist for God’s purpose not our own. Sure, we existed in the mind of God before He said, “Let there be light.” What a crazy thought but true. Yet, God does not exist so we can live happy, contented, and fulfilled lives. We exist for His pleasure and the fulfillment of His plan in and through us.