Here is what I’m thinking on this New Year’s Day. I am slowing down. My Bible reading schedule for this year will be a slow, thoughtful meander through only the New Testament. I am doing a book study through Lisa Whittle’s “I Want God”…but I am making a book which has less than 200 pages last through December. The theme of the book is personal revival. I want it to soak in. I want to make my life quieter, more focused. Not sure how that will look yet exactly, but that is what my heart yearns for.
Simplify. The word for the year. I want upward focus, and less preoccupation with horizontal noise.
“Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” Rom. 2:4
How kind He is.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jer. 29:11
How good He is.
“The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.” (Ps 121:8)
How safe He is.
“To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ: May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.” (Jude 1-2)
How generous He is.
A bigger, eternal focus begins this New Year. I found myself holding our little girl this morning, talking about her fish that is dying…round 2. Reminders that life is fleeting, that it is a gift to ourselves and precious to our God when we choose joy and gratitude. Hold earthy things loosely, rejoice and invest in things eternal. Had me sobbing along with her. I need these reminders, too.
Deeper. I want deeper.
Deeper, deeper in the love of Jesus
Daily let me go;
Higher, higher in the school of wisdom,
More of grace to know.
O deeper yet, I pray,
And higher every day,
And wiser, blessèd Lord,
In Thy precious, holy Word.
Deeper, deeper, blessèd Holy Spirit,
Take me deeper still,
Till my life is wholly lost in Jesus,
And His perfect will.
Deeper, deeper! though it cost hard trials,
Deeper let me go!
Rooted in the holy love of Jesus,
Let me fruitful grow.
Deeper, higher, every day in Jesus,
Till all conflict past,
Finds me conqu’ror, and in His own image
Perfected at last.
Deeper, deeper in the faith of Jesus,
Holy faith and true;
In His pow’r and soul exulting wisdom
Let me peace pursue. ~Charles P. Jones, 1800