MY NEXT STEP THIS COMING YEAR ... and yours

November 16, 2019

MY NEXT STEP THIS COMING YEAR ... and yours


Today is my 68th birthday. As I approached my daily reading through the Bible this morning, I began by asking God to speak to me directly about something I needed to hear on this particular day—a message straight from His heart to mine for this coming year. Here is the passage that arrested my attention on this very personal day.

12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.
13 So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.
14 For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.
15 Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.

 

WHERE CHRIST WENT … AND WHY.

The Son of God was willing to go to the hardest, most misunderstood place. He went, with His cross, to die outside the city. It was a place of refuse (literally, the city dump). It was the most dishonorable environment in the city. But He went there for a purpose: to take the place of sacrifice, suffering, and self-denial so that, in so doing, it would bring life to others.

And, it worked. His self-denial set countless millions free!

But that is not the end of the story. Because of His glad surrender, the Father honored and resurrected Him and “gave Him the name that is above every other name.” He raised Christ to the place of greatest splendor, for His was the path of greatest suffering. God always rewards the best to those who follow Him most fully.

WHERE I MUST GO … AND WHY.

My calling—in whatever days I have left—is to join Him there. It is just that simple.

I must continue to follow Christ, regardless of the places it might take me or the sacrifice it might cost me. For His way is the way that leads to life and fruitfulness. Even though I am in the last third of my life, it is not a moment to seek ease, comfort, or self-glory. The greatest thing I can do to help my children and grandchildren and future generations; the most effective way I can bring life to other people, is to simply, faithfully follow Jesus each common day, even if that takes me through valleys of greater surrender or suffering. For death to self always births life to others.

Along the way, I must joyfully, thankfully remember this: I am not living for this world. I don’t need the world’s possessions, honor, adulation, blessing; its comforts or pleasures. This world and all it might give me is temporary, but I must “seek the city which is to come.” In that place, every step I have taken following Christ will be rewarded. And, that reward and that place will last forever!

Even if some of the coming days are hard, I should never complain, vainly trying to convince those around me how much I might be suffering or how “noble” I am. Every step is a privileged journey with the Risen Christ! I should be the most visibly and vocally grateful person possible, continually offering up a “sacrifice of praise to God.” My gracious God has blessed me with the honor of living this life with His Son and joining Him in the glorious life to come!

That’s God’s Word for me this year! I wonder what God’s Word is for you?

 

 

 

 

 





Also in Graceful Truth

8 TRUTHS FROM GESTHEMANE
8 TRUTHS FROM GESTHEMANE

January 26, 2023

I have stood many times in the Garden of Gethsemane, and I am always speechless. It is a sacred place, for this is where the final battle was won by our Savior. The cross and the tomb were outcomes of a prayer time. Without Gesthemane, there might not have been a cross and an empty tomb. The Garden of Eden and the Garden of Gethsemane are inextricably linked: bookends of our sin and God’s solution.

Continue Reading

HOW TO FIND GOD’S WILL
HOW TO FIND GOD’S WILL

January 25, 2023

Our greatest questions in life all surround God’s will. “What is His path for me? What is the next, right step? Where should I go? What should I do next?” ... God is not capricious. He is not trying to confuse or manipulate us. He’s raising children, and we must see the classroom of decision-making as one of His best subjects. We must show up on time, listen to our kind Instructor, take detailed notes, and not leave our seat till the bell has rung.

Continue Reading

PRAYING BIGGER PRAYERS
PRAYING BIGGER PRAYERS

January 21, 2023

Recently the Lord asked me this question: “Do you believe in Me enough to believe that if you never preached or wrote again, your PRAYING could accomplish just as much for My glory?” It was a sobering thought, and a prayer-elevating thought. For prayer brings God into the equation and can do anything God can do.

Continue Reading