The New Year (1)

“You have crowned the year with Your bounty, and Your paths drip with fatness.”

One Bible teacher says, “Like most people you’ve probably made New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, exercise, eat better…and improve your life. But did you know that the desire to improve your life with each New Year started in the heart of God? David said, ‘You have crowned the year with Your bounty, and Your paths drip with fatness.’ In Bible times ‘fatness’ was considered a sign of material success. Moses sent twelve spies in to scout out the Promised Land and report back on whether it was “fat or lean.” They brought back word saying that it ‘flowed with milk and honey’ (See Numbers 13:26-27). The land was so fruitful that it took two men to carry one cluster of grapes! So what will it take for you to experience God’s blessing this coming year? Note the words “crowned”, “bounty”, and “paths”. In the same way a crown encircles your head, this Year you can be surrounded by God’s bountiful goodness. But something is required on your part. You must walk in His “paths” throughout the year, because only His paths ‘drip with fatness.’ You can’t expect to experience the success God offers if you’re not willing to walk in close fellowship with Him every day. Ezekiel expresses a similar thought: ‘I will make them and the places around about My hill a blessing…there shall be showers of blessing [of good insured by God’s favor]” (Ezekiel 34:26 AMP Classic Edition). The places around God’s habitation will be showered with blessing and goodness; so endeavor to stay close to God each day of this year.”

The New Year (1)

‘You crown the year with Your goodness, And Your paths drip with abundance.’ Psalm 65:11 NKJV

How are you feeling this NYE? Some of us may be full of excitement, eager to get on with 2017. Others of us may be feeling apprehensive; we’re not sure what’s up ahead and that can be daunting. However we’re feeling, there’s one thing that’s the same for all of us. God has crowned the year with His goodness. God has always been good, is good now and always will be good. His goodness is a fixed thing for this year. What’s ahead of us may be unknown, and life will always have its ups and downs, but the fact that we have access to this fully good God is a definite. He promises to provide for our needs. And the thing we need the most is His presence. We can go into 2017 confident that we can face whatever comes our way because He’s always with us. He doesn’t hold Himself back from us. When we spend time seeking Him, he lets us find Him. ‘You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart’ (Jeremiah 29:13 NIV). He’s the God of abundance and there’s always more that He has in store for us. All we need to do is make sure that we’re spending time with Him every day and trying to follow His guiding. Let’s make 2017 the year that we seek God with all our hearts, see His goodness even in those hard times and look out for the abundance of blessings He gives us daily.

Die Nuwe Jaar (1)

“U kroon die jaar van u goedheid, en u voetspore drup van vettigheid.” Psalm 65:12 AFR53

Een Bybelonderwyser sê, ‘Soos die meeste mense, het jy heel waarskynlik Nuwejaarsvoornemens gemaak om gewig te verloor, te oefen, gesonder te eet, en jou lewe te verbeter. Maar het jy geweet dat die begeerte om jou lewe met elke Nuwe Jaar te verbeter in die hart van God begin het? Dawid het gesê, ‘U kroon die jaar van u goedheid, en u voetspore drup van vettigheid.’ In Bybelse tyd was ‘vettigheid’ as ‘n teken van materiële sukses gesien. Moses het twaalf spioene uitgestuur om die Beloofde Land te gaan verken en te kom rapporteer of dit ‘vet of skraal’ is. Hulle het kom sê dit ‘loop oor van melk en heuning’ (Sien Numeri 13:26-27). Die land was so vrugbaar dat dit twee mans geverg het om een tros druiwe te dra! Wat sal dit van jou neem om God se seën hierdie komende jaar te ervaar? Let op die woorde ‘kroon’, ‘goedheid’ en ‘voetspore’. Op dieselfde manier wat ‘n kroon jou kop omring, kan jy hierdie jaar deur God se oorvloedige goedheid omring word. Daar is egter iets wat van jou kant af moet kom. Jy moet hierdie jaar in sy ‘voetspore’ loop, want net sy voetspore ‘drup van vettigheid.’ Jy kan nie verwag om die sukses wat God bied te ervaar as jy nie bereid is om elke dag in nabye gemeenskap saam met Hom te loop nie. Esegiël het dieselfde gedagte gehad: ‘My volk en hulle huise, wat rondom my woonplek is, sal geseënd wees. Ek stuur reënbuie, buie van seëninge’ (Esegiël 34:26 NLV). Daar sal seën en goedheid op die plekke rondom God se woning uitgestort word, so maak ‘n punt daarvan om elke dag hierdie jaar naby aan God te bly.’

Don’t label people – love them

2 Corinthians 5:16 NLT

If you tend to associate only with “your own kind,” think about this: “We have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view.” Jesus went miles out of His way to meet a Samaritan woman at a well. From a cultural and religious point of view, it was a bad move. First, she’d been divorced five times so she had a tarnished reputation. Second, she was a Gentile. And in those days a Jew couldn’t drink water drawn by Gentiles or eat their food. Jewish physicians couldn’t attend to non-Jewish patients. Jews actually referred to Gentiles as “unclean,” believing that by mixing with them they too would become unclean. But Jesus was all about including people, not excluding them: “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood” (John 1:14 TM). Jesus touched lepers, loved foreigners, and spent so much time with partygoers that religious leaders called him a “lush, a friend of the riffraff” (Matthew 11:19 TM). Jesus didn’t label people; He loved them. And when you follow Him, He puts His finger on your prejudices and makes you deal with them. That’s because He wants to change the way you look at people, not seeing them as Jews or Gentiles, insiders or outsiders, liberals or conservatives, etc. “We have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view.” Today you may come across some discarded people like the woman at the well. They may have been thrown out of church, or just turned off by the church. And you’ll have a chance to label them or love them. Honor God – and love them!

Soul food: Lev 18-20; Matt 6:9-18; Ps 71:1-16; Prov 2:1-2