By Contributing Writer, Stephani
New Year’s celebrations follow swiftly on the heels of Christmas. I enjoy looking back on a full year of memories and then looking ahead and planning for the next season of life. However, I don’t want to pack up Christmas and move into the New Year as if it is a seasonal decoration. Jesus is always our best thought… at Christmas, at New Year’s, and every day to come. I want the reality of Christmas, our glorious Savior, to be what I root my thoughts in and grow in every day in the coming year. I want to see Jesus as the prophet did in Isaiah 9:6:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah prophetically proclaims Christ’s birth and then broadens our understanding of who this Child would be in relationship with those who come to Him by faith.
He is Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (and so much more) to those who believe and receive Him. This is a very personal, knowable, real, living description of Jesus!
In light of this magnificent, living Savior, we need to ask ourselves: are we tasting, seeing, and personally knowing Jesus like that?
Dear single sisters in Jesus, we have been given an incredible gift of time, energy, passion, flexibility, mental clarity, and availability that may never be entrusted to us again in this life, and it is ours right now. We are selling ourselves short if we’re pouring out our single years enhancing vain personal beauty, trying to “catch” a guy, spending hours learning the details of everyone’s life on Facebook, or just hanging out without any purpose or passion!
There is a living Savior and He wants us to know Him personally! ALL things were made through Him and for Him and He holds all things together (Colossians 1:16-17)! He is not merely a historical figure or a nice thought at Christmas. The incredibly powerful, wonderful, awesome, glorious King of Kings humbled Himself to make us His own. This is absolutely humbling and absolutely marvelous!
Do You Know Him…or Do You Only Know About Him?
Where is our focus? Are we satisfied with a list of facts “about” Him, or will we seek to know Him more and more personally? On a daily basis, where do we turn for counsel, strength, identity, protection, peace, answers, strength to obey, and understanding? To know, taste, and see Him personally is an incredible passion worth pursuing this 2013.
Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me… Jeremiah 9:23-24a
Taste & See
No riches, wisdom, beauty, relationship, popularity, or worldly pleasure can compare with personally knowing God! I have been thinking about ways to fan the flame of love for Christ in a deeper, “taste and see” kind of way:
- Be wary of spending devotional time stacking up knowledgeable facts “about” the Lord instead of knowing and trusting HIM personally. Look for passages, descriptive words, and verses that describe the person, work, and promises of Jesus Christ and walk in the reality of His greatness in everyday situations.
- Regularly spend time with other believers who love, serve, and know Jesus. Whether you feel weak or strong, don’t fear coming together with other believers to talk, pray, ask questions, study the Word, attend Church, and fellowship. Also, keep your eyes open for opportunities to encourage others with what the Lord is revealing to you in His Word.
- Keep a thanksgiving journal to record daily “taste & see” moments. Briefly jot down truths from the Word that watered you, testimonies of sweet fellowship and encouragement with believers, new opportunities to serve Jesus and others, little blessings often overlooked (little siblings’ ever-inquisitive minds, the pile of shoes by the door belonging to family members, a bowl of steaming chili thoughtfully prepared, etc.). Notice and rejoice in His love and the reality of His fellowship with you.
- Regularly evaluate your responses to stressful, uncomfortable situations. Do you tend to react as if you are alone, without a mighty God and His promises? Or are you trusting and acting on who God promises to be for you in Jesus?
- Print a passage of Scripture on a piece of paper, slide it into a plastic page protector, seal the end with tape, and stick it to the shower wall to memorize.
- Keep an edifying book or biography close at hand. Slow down as you read and jot down brief notes in the margins to focus your attentions on helpful insights, sentences, and ideas (Recently I read two biographies, one on Jim Elliot and the other on Ann Hasseltine Judson …just a couple examples of Jesus-loving people!)
- Come to the Lord in prayer seeking to develop a quiet trust in Him. Come humbly and confidently to worship and fellowship with the Living God! In Christ He is your Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.
- Don’t rely only on the experiences of other Christians. Taste and see the Lord’s goodness for yourself. Don’t stop at knowing “about” Him… know HIM personally!
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6-7
2013… Here we come! Let us seek to taste and see His glory and goodness more and more personally!