For Yahweh is good, and His love is eternal;
December 31st, a time for reflection, a time for goal setting, a time of new beginnings. Many of us will spend the next few weeks trying to figure out what goals and resolutions we want to implement in order to enrich our lives. For me, goal setting is pretty much like dragging my fingernails across a chalkboard. It really is a grueling process, so I don’t participate in the tradition of New Year’s Resolutions. But for some reason, this year I really wanted my mindset to change in this area. I would love to say that I sat down and fervently prayed for God to change my heart, but I did not. However, God, in His infinite grace, brought me to an understanding of Himself one day while I was reading Psalm 100 (HCSB).
Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Acknowledge that Yahweh is God. He made us, and we are His, His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name. For Yahweh is good, and His love is eternal; His faithfulness endures through all generations.
Through this Psalm, I realized that my view of God is what dictates my choices, in essence, my goals and resolutions. Do I have a BIG view of God, or do I have a small view of God? I also realized that my decisions and choices become more clear and easier to make in light of who God is.
So who is God? According to Psalm 100, God is faithful, eternal, good, trustworthy, the King of Kings, our shepherd, and unchanging in His character. Hebrews 13:8 echoes this truth, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” This means that no matter what is going on in the world (in my world), Jesus Christ is the same. He does not change based on circumstances. He will, and always will be, love, joy, peace, patient, kind, good, faithful, just, and merciful.
What would it look like for us to walk into the new year with a proper view of God, a clearer view of who God is and what He is capable of? I believe our goals and resolutions will fall into place when we have a proper understanding of God. When we realize that all we do should be centered around bringing Him glory, making His name renowned.
Knowing God takes time and it takes commitment. Verses 1-4 of Psalm 100 tell us how we should respond to God. We are to shout, serve, come before, acknowledge, enter, give thanks, and praise Him. Let’s make these responses our resolutions this year. In 2020, let’s enter His presence with thanksgiving. Let’s check our hearts daily to make sure we are prepared to enter into His presence…so that He can speak to us. So that He can minister to our souls. So that He can reveal to us the purpose He has for our lives. So that He can come in and clean out the burdens we have been holding onto all year. Oh the joys of walking intimately with our Savior who is crazy about us, loves us unconditionally, and wants to give us abundant life!
I believe this coming year would look like freedom if we choose to open our eyes to the greatness of our God, His unchanging character, and focus on aligning our goals with who He is and who we are in light of eternity.
My precious husband, Bill, and I have been planted in Fort Myers, Florida for almost 35 years. As a newly married couple, God most graciously had placed people in both of our jobs to share Christ with us. Its hard to believe it has been almost 34 years since we asked Jesus into our hearts! Bill and I have been blessed with four children, 3 daughters, then a son. These blessings came quickly, all within 6 years!! During these years I'm so thankful I was able to be part of women's ministry classes at our church, helping me to grow in my walk with Him. Then came the day when I was asked that question that stretched me way outside of my comfort zone...will you teach a class? Its hard to believe that I have now been teaching more than 20 years. Bill and I love to travel, most of the time going to visit our 9 grandchildren, oh ya, and their parents! I also love reading, walking and hanging out with some very special young moms in Beloved that bless my socks off!
Julie is a Kansas girl who resides in sunny Southwest Florida. She's been married to her husband Sean for 23 years and they share two boys ages 21 & 17. She enjoys baking and biking, but her absolute favorite thing is snow skiing which is a little difficult to do in a sandy 80 degree land.
She became a follower of Christ at age 10. She loves studying and teaching God's Word. She has a passion for encouraging moms to love and follow Jesus.
Beth grew up in a loving home; however, in her early 20s she faced a very lonely time. During that time, she cried out to God and asked “If You are real, please show yourself to me!” God met her where she was and she trusted in the Lord Jesus at that time. Her life verse and desire is “no matter what happens, to conduct herself in a manner worthy of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27
Beth now resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband Larry. The Lord has blessed them by blending their family of five children. They currently have eight grandchildren and are hoping that there will be more grandchildren in the future.
Donna accepted Jesus as her Savior at the age of nine and has been amazed at God’s goodness and faithfulness throughout her life. She has been blessed to have had many mentors through each season of life, who have shown her what trusting God looks like. Donna and her husband, Bryan, have five children, one son-in-law, one soon to be daughter-in-law, and one wonderful grandson. Donna and Bryan have recently moved back to their home state of Arkansas after livingin southeast Alabama the past 23 years. Donna enjoys spending time with her family, laughing with friends (usually over coffee), going for long walks with her husband, and reading a good book (which may also be accompanied by a cup of coffee).
Sarah is a true Florida Cracker. She was born and raised in Southwest Florida. At the age of 6, Sarah accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and she hasn't looked back since. Hebrews 13:8 is one of her favorite verses, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Eating delicious desserts, spending time with her family and friends, and teaching people about Jesus are a few of the things she enjoys to do in her spare time.
Sarah has been married to her best friend and husband, Brandon, for 7 years. They have been blessed with one beautiful, determined son, Asher, who keeps them on their toes. Sarah and her family live in the Tampa area. They love exploring their community together, family hugs, and eating pizza whenever possible.
Katie Flint just recently moved back home to Fort Myers, Florida with her husband, Ryan and two children, Collins and Madden. At the age of 5, Katie accepted Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of her life, after attending Vacation Bible School. Through each phase of her life, God has shown her that He alone is trustworthy. The verse that has been her life source is Psalm 46:10- “Be still and know that I am God.”
She is a stay-at-home mom and enjoys exercising and baking. She has been married to her husband Ryan for almost 9 years, who is her high school sweetheart. They enjoy trying new restaurants, family trips to the beach, and relaxing at home.
Marsha grew up in a small rural town in upstate New York. In 2006, after finishing college, she moved to sunny SW Florida where she met her, now husband, Shawn. Together they enjoy spending family time with their two fun-loving toddler boys Zachariah and Kairos.
Marsha enjoys living an active lifestyle, which is helpful, considering that her favorite hobby is baking.
Though she attended church as a child, Marsha was not saved until adulthood when her eyes were finally opened to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Since being saved, God has placed a loving burden on her heart to share the truth about God’s healing grace with those who may feel like forgiveness is not possible for them.