My “One Word” for 2021 is “Aware”. Lord don’t let me get so wrapped up in my “to do” list – so distracted – that I’m not “aware” of those hurting and needing me to be your hands and feet that are right smack dab in front of me!
My motto for 2021 is “Love Like Jesus”. Oh it’s easy to donate to a charity – do random acts of kindness – and say we’re “Loving like Jesus”. And while those are good things to do – it’s not entirely what the bible says. It says if you love me – if you want to enter the narrow gate – you read and follow my teachings. What about forgiving 70 x 7? What about being humble – even if our flesh is screaming “But you’re right!” – what about firmly, and respectfully taking a stand in the truth because the truth is what sets us free instead of being “politically correct”. What about not yielding to temptation, or reading your bible and praying instead of watching the last season in a Netflix bender? To me, that’s loving like Jesus. Sometimes it’s as much about what we “don’t do” in Jesus name as it is about what we do.
One “goal” for 2021 is to be CONSISTENTLY starting my day with reading my bible and prayer because let’s face it – often we have good intentions to “do it later” and later gets filled with distractions – job, soccer practice, household chores… so let’s make Jesus first place. I’m starting in Matthew – reading through the entire New Testament – a chapter or two a day. Who wants to go on this journey with me? I will be posting a “nugget” from my morning reading daily. I encourage you to get out your bible and following along. Here’s to us taking a moment to pause, ponder and pray daily in 2021!
Matthew is where we start – the first book in the New Testament. Matthew was one of Jesus 12 disciples. He was once a despised tax collector, but his life was changed by this man from Galilee. Matthew wrote this Gospel to his fellow Jews to prove that Jesus is the Messiah and to explain God’s Kingdom. In Chapter 1 we read a long list of genealogy of who begat who. As I watched the series “Chosen” it made Matthew make more sense to me and why his gospel likely started this way. Matthew is very “matter of fact” – but that was his mindset – he dealt with money and taxes (a modern day Accountant) – he was driven to note the facts. Because Mary was a virgin when she became pregnant, Matthew lists Joseph only as the husband, not the father of Jesus. Matthew’s genealogy gives Jesus’ legal (or royal) lineage through Joseph. Mary’s ancestral line is recorded in Luke’s gospel. Both Mary and Joseph were direct descendants of David. Tomorrow we’ll look at verses 18-24 in Chapter 1 and talk about the Virgin birth as recorded in the book of Matthew.
Happy Monday friends! No matter what is going on in the world around us – chaos, unrest, turmoil – you can rest in the fact that Jesus loves you and God is a faithful God. Seek Him and that’s where you will find rest and peace.