As 2014 unfolds, I hope you know how loved you are. Regardless of whether you can fathom God’s love for you, the fact remains you are deeply and personally loved by a Savior that went to the cross to prove it. He would’ve done it, had you been the only one in need. But you’re not. And the awesome and incredible thing is God loves you just as you are.
Chalk up past mistakes and difficulties as unique experience and wisdom gained, and other than making any necessary amends, put the past behind you. With a little contemplation, you are simply better equipped for your future.
Know that in your humility is strength and do constant battle with that dangerously insidious and worst human vice of all, called pride.
Let God make all things work together for good for you, by pressing into His will. Since your calling is unique, keep your eyes on the goal and don’t compare to anyone else. Value you’re work and contributions, disregarding any inapplicable disparagement from some who don’t understand your particular walk of life.
Tap into the best friend ever. God wants to connect with you in a most intimate way through worship and as you study His Word and put it into practice. C.S. Lewis said, “It is in the process of being worshiped that God communicates His presence to men.”
You are worth the time it takes to pamper your body nutritionally and with physical fitness. Your body hosts you, and you are irreplaceable to your family and friends. You love them better when you take care of yourself. If you’re married, guard that union and indulge often in the pleasures God afforded to it. Prov. 19b (KJV), “Be thou ravished always with her love.”
Keep a grateful, pure heart. When you keep your heart stocked with gratefulness and are careful to pluck out that occasional weed of bitterness, then your happiness will overflow to others around you. To be able to love others regardless of their reciprocation is powerful. A gratitude list or journal is a great tool.
Enjoy fellowship. “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8) Nothing compares to the benefits that abound when we decide to continue in love. Extend the same grace that you want God to extend to you for your worst moments, because what you give to others who have offended you is all you should expect from God.
Procure God’s favor by respecting the authorities in your life, whether in your family, a marriage, a job, society or in the church. God likens us to sheep. Picture a sheep deciding to strike out alone oblivious to the wolves lurking in the shadows. To put yourself under appropriate, albeit imperfect, authority is to invite God’s blessing and favor on your life.
May you know God’s abundant love for you and experience His favor and blessings on your life in the New Year.
P.S. Be sure to check out all the other bits of encouragement linked-up the Coffee for Your Heart 2014 Encouragement Challenge!