JOURNAL A NEW YEAR INTO GOD’S STORY

MOSAIC MEMOIRS 2014

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A New Year is coming… Are you prepared? As we gear ourselves up for the new year some may reflect positively or negatively back on 2014, while others eager with expectation to start the new year, others still may be going into 2015 with trepidation. Either way, we will enter into 2015, and we will be penning our personal story to the grand-narrative, which is God’s story. All of history is His story.

Again I ask the question…

ARE YOU PREPARED?

As I reflect back on 2014, in this series of mosaic memoirs, I want to suggest three keys to preparing yourself for a new year in which you hope to journal your small story into God’s grand story.

Get Help, Plan and Paint. Simple, right? Let me explain. These three keys are drawn from three sermon series we did in 2014 in which we realize that it’s not only God’s story that our lives are a tiny journal or memoir of, but He is The Helper, He is The Plan maker, The Author, Architect and Artist to which he applies the colour and detail to our Life’s Canvas. The ultimate preparation for a new year is to realign ourselves with Him. That sounds like one key. Well let me break it down for you.

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THE HELPER

As we go into 2015 we can choose to do it ourselves, in our own strength, with our own wisdom or understanding, or we can acknowledge that the God of the universe; All-Knowing, All-Powerful, All-Wise wants to help us. In John 16:7 Jesus explains the benefits of Him leaving His disciples; “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you…”

The Helper is the promised Holy Spirit, who I could write about in a thousand more pages, but for now I want to simply say that in 2015 The Helper will empower you and give you an unfair advantage that takes you beyond your limitations and weaknesses. The Holy Spirit will guide and lead you with the wisdom, knowledge, insight and truth of God. The Helper is God; the third part of the Godhead. If you want to a part of God’s story then get God’s help – As a believer you’ve got it. The Holy Spirit not only wants to help you in 2015 as you submit to, listen to, follow, and ask Him for more of Him, but He also wants to give you gifts to equip you, character apps if you will, to help you face the year according to His plan and purpose.

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THE PLAN

As you prepare for 2015, know that God prepared long before you. As you make our plans know that ultimately God’s plan prevails. Ephesians 4:10 tells us; “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them”. God’s Plan was to redeem us, to restore us to Him and then to purpose us with His mission, a mission that asks of us to walk in unity, holiness, love, light, wisdom and victory. (Ephesians 4:3, 4:24, 5:2, 5:8, 5:15-17, 6:10-11) 

If we walk in His plan we will show the world His glory, love and grace. Therefore, as we prepare for 2015, as we make plans, perhaps it’s best to enquire of God what His plan is, and to walk in it, with the help of the Holy Spirit and knowing that, as you “Delight yourself in the Lord, … he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

I only recently understood the subtle genius of this verse… as I delight more in God, I inevitably get to know Him more, and begin to delight in His plans for my life. His plans become the desires of my heart, and He will not only give it to me, but also help me in it.

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LIFE CANVAS

With God’s help and God’s plan you are guaranteed to have a great year. That sounds too simple. It isn’t quite true. There’s an inappropriate bumper sticker, and no it’s not “Jesus loves you” or “God is good” although those are appropriate and true – but one that rather suggests that bad stuff in life sometimes happen. Why does God allow it? Because in the tension of His Fatherly Love and Sovereign Lordship God knows best. Trust Him! While others may sin and mean evil in our lives God can use it for good. Depend on Him!

Is it really that simple. God is good and just and ‘God is painting on a Canvas as big as the universe’. This is a line that Louie Giglio gave us in a talk I played at a Creative Canvas Coffee Connect this year. In this talk, Louie explains that while we are looking at life through our little bitty snap shots of it, God is painting on a canvas as big as the universe, and while He does so He is always committed to at least three things all the time;

  1. To His Glory
  2. To His Plan of Redemption
  3. To His People

We won’t always understand the big picture of what God is doing, it may even suck or hurt sometimes, but we need to trust that He is good, He is love; ‘And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.’ Romans 8:28

GOOD NEWS PLAIN AND SIMPLE, YET DIFFICULT AND CHALLENGING

The good news of God’s Plan is the Gospel plain and simple – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

But once you’re in, and you journey this walk a while, you begin to realize that the other side of the Gospel is that it will cost you everything, and that God’s Big Picture Plan is also difficult and challenging.

‘And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.’ Luke 9:23-24

‘[However] let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe…’ Hebrew 12:28

We are not in His plan but a part of His plan, sons and daughters, heirs and ambassadors of an unshakeable kingdom, with a firm foundation of faith in Christ. We are people of a different Spirit, living from the inside out with the Cross before us and the world behind us.

THE MASTER ARTIST

With that as a framework my encouragement is to allow God to be the master artist who applies the paint to His Canvas, yours and my life, in 2015. Trust Him, believe that He knows what He is doing and His plan will work out for good according to His ultimate purpose, His glory, His redemption, His people.

You are His Plan for 2015 – Walk in it.

He is your Help – Ask Him for it.

He is Lord – Allow Him to paint the canvas of your life in 2015.

It’s His story and your 2015 is a part of it – may it be a great entry and a great year for you and your family in Jesus Name.

RESOURCES: THE PLAN – A Journey to Walk In Devotional 

 

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