Every New Year presents us with new opportunities to create special, sacred memories that give glory to God and speak to our true identity in Christ Jesus.
Let us begin this New Year by humbling ourselves before the greatness of Our Saviour Jesus Christ as we confess our sins and acknowledge our deep need for God’s forgiveness, healing and grace.
Let’s begin this reflection with a consideration of ‘who we are’ and ‘who we want to be’.
If we want to create special memories with God in 2018, we must have a clear understanding of our identity in Christ Jesus. We are children of God and disciples of God’s Only Son Jesus Christ. If we had a label on us that reflected our identity that label would be ‘Made for Jesus’.
Everything choice we make must please God. We are God’s and God is ours and only in a sacred communion with Our Lord Jesus, fully dedicated to His glory, can we live up to our human potential and please God.
Jesus said, “You are my friends if you do what I command.” John 15:14
As we set out to try to make 2018 a year that gives God glory let’s each ask ourselves three important questions:
- What’s working in my life that is pleasing God?
- What’s not working in my life that is preventing me from pleasing God more?
- What’s missing in my life that if it were present would please God?
I began using these three questions in a large corporate setting during corporate restructuring initiatives. We were working to transform the culture and set the organization on a path for breakthrough success. I was always amazed to see how the answers to these questions would quickly uncover the key issues and illuminate important new paths for transformation.
Regardless of what’s not working and what’s missing BELIEVE IN THE GREATNESS OF GOD’S LOVE FOR YOU!
“Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
As a global community we are facing many problems and there are many things that are ‘not working’ and ‘missing’ but don’t despair because God has not abandoned us!
I am grieved when I hear people blame human suffering on God. How many times do people ask “Where is God?” in the face of great suffering? The answer is God is with those that love him.
God has given mankind free will. God allows man to choose the path of good or the path of evil and one day God will judge each of us for the choices we have made.
TRUST IN JESUS AND REMEMBER FOR GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
When we become clear about our true identity as disciples of Jesus Christ and surrender our lives to Him for His glory and our sanctification, we become filled with the Spirit of Love and our Hope in God triumphs over all fear of failure.
We are not destined for failure.
WE ARE DESTINED FOR VICTORY!
The day will come when Jesus will return to rule the earth in His Second Coming. In the meantime our job is to get ready and be righteous.
“Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)” Revelation 19:7-8
“The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot.” Proverbs 10:7
None of us are capable of being holy on our own. People are not born holy. Only God is holy, and only in communion with Him, obeying His voice and doing His Holy Will can we become holy – one righteous deed at a time.
“Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.” Leviticus 19:2
You are God’s precious child and God wants you to allow His holiness to shine through you!
Only when we fully and truly understand and embrace our royal identity in Christ Jesus and strive to live out His divine plan of love and reconciliation can we begin to call ourselves God’s people.
All of this may seem daunting, but it needn’t be. Jesus will do all the heavy lifting. All we have to do is surrender to His love and believe that for God’s people all things are possible through God’s grace and power.
“All things are possible to him who believes!” Words of Jesus, Mark 9:23
Do you have that kind of faith? Faith is like the root of the tree. If the root is strong the whole tree will be strong and will bear fruit in its proper season. But if the root is weak then the tree will be weak and will struggle.
How strong is your faith?
If your faith is not strong, ask Jesus to help you to believe! Faith is a gift. Ask for that gift!
I will admit to you that I have a child-like faith and I think it’s my biggest asset. I pray knowing that Jesus is always listening. I always try to pray with reverence remembering that while God is omniscient (i.e., all knowing), I am not and I do not always know how best to pray so I add words like ‘if it is your Holy Will Lord…”
I know God wants to change our hearts and our world, but that won’t happen if we don’t believe and we don’t pray for the transformation we want to see.
When I was a little girl, my father became very sick. They thought he might have meningitis. The medicine was not working. His fever was spiking and my mother felt he was in trouble and could die. I remember her saying “Sylvia go to your room and pray!” So I ran into my room and I knelt beside my bed and I said, “God my daddy is very sick. I love him so much! Can you help him?” I heard God say to my heart “Go and kiss him little one.” So I ran back into the room where he was sleeping and my mother started yelling “I told you to go to your room and pray!” And I said, “Mommy, God told me to kiss him!” She looked at me bewildered as I ran to his bedside. I kissed his face and immediately my father opened his eyes and his fever broke and he recovered that day.
God will answer our prayers if we believe in Him! I knew He would heal my father.
This is the promise of God:
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
I often write about this Scripture from the Book of Chronicles because I believe it’s a sacred formula for how to heal our world. It requires that we begin by acknowledging our identity as God’s people and our profound need for God’s grace. Knowing that we are dependent on His grace and love is humility and it’s a starting point for creating new memories that give God glory. Prayer is key to our success. We must not only come to God with our needs but we must also listen to what He is saying to us as we persistently reflect on His Word as spoken in the Scriptures. When God says ‘seek my face’, He is asking us to enter into His holy presence and become ONE with Him. Nothing short of intimacy will do. Jesus doesn’t want a casual relationship with us. He wants an intimate relationship.
All of us are sinners. If anyone says otherwise they are lying.
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:24
In 2017 we have heard many political threats of nuclear war. It’s URGENT that we pray for God’s intervention. God’s mercy is endless! BELIEVE AND PRAY LIKE YOU BELIEVE!
GIVE THANKS AND LET GOD FEED YOUR HEART WITH HIS WORD, WITH HIS HOLY SPIRIT AND WITH HIS SACRAMENTS
Pray for the Holy Spirit to fill your heart with a Spirit of Love and Gratitude. Read God’s Holy Word in the Bible and treasure its meaning in your life. Stop every day for special healing moments of gratitude and create special memories with God. Every time we say thank you Jesus for anything we make Him smile and He makes us smile. Every moment of gratitude is a little moment for your heart to rest in God’s peaceful embrace as you thank Him for His divine providence and blessing. If you are healthy, be thankful for that health. If you are able to pay your bills, be thankful for that. If you have food on your table, give God thanks for that. The more we give thanks, the more our hearts are filled with God’s sunshine. Positive attitudes can be nurtured with every act of thanksgiving.
Receive Jesus in the Eucharist with great thanks for He has chosen to give us His Body and Blood through this Blessed Sacrament. Recall the Words of St. Paul warning the first disciples to receive Jesus in the Sacrament of Love, the Holy Eucharist, with faith.
“Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.” 1 Corinthians 11: 28-29
Embracing tradition without faith does NOT benefit us. If you choose to receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar then BELIEVE THAT HE IS TRULY PRESENT. In each Mass we create a Sacred Memory with God as we remember the Holy Sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus and receive His Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist.
Worship, praise, thanksgiving, receiving the Sacraments devoutly, reading and learning God’s Holy Word are some of the ways we can give God glory.
As we confess our sins, let us also forgive one another for reconciliation is one of the greatest ways we can create Sacred Memories with God.
LET’S BE CHARITABLE AND LET THE CHARITY START AT HOME
Patience is a virtue that I have always struggled with but I keep trying and sometimes I succeed in being patient and sometimes I fail and when I fail I ask Jesus for forgiveness.
This year let’s strive to help build up faith in our families by witnessing to our love for God. Let’s pray for our children that they may come to know and trust and love Jesus. Let’s practice our charity at home because sometimes we can neglect the people that are closest to us.
JOIN THE PEACE MOVEMENT THAT IS UNITING THE CHRISTIAN WORLD
Have you heard of A Peaceful Revolution in the Name of Jesus Christ? It’s a peace movement that is calling all followers of Jesus to stop and pray and remember the Passion of Christ every day @ the time Jesus died for us, 3pm (in our local time zones). At this time we create a special memory with Jesus as we remember His Passion, Death and Resurrection and thank Him for dying for our redemption. At this time we pray for all souls. We pray for the mercy of Our Lord Jesus upon our suffering world. We ask Jesus to send us His Holy Spirit to silence the forces of evil, stop violence and wars and create reconciliation and peace. Join in and create a daily Sacred Memory with Jesus that unites the Body of Christ in solidarity.
“I will perpetuate your memory through all generations; therefore the nations will praise you forever and ever.” Psalm 45:17