What are you running after this year?

In our church, whoever preaches on Sunday writes up a weekly devotional to go along with the sermon.  Here is my last sermon and the devotional that goes along with it.  Happy New Year!

ENCOUNTER: Read Psalm 73

After reading through this Psalm, do you find that you can relate to any of Asaph's laments?  Don't you find it frustrating that those who could care less about God, morality, the future, all seem to be living large.  And at the same time, you often feel like you are being crushed from all sides?

After Asaph has his temper tantrum, he finally takes a deep breath and comes to his senses.  Why not do the same?  Take a second, pause, breath deeply and read the last part of Asaph's prayer one more time:

Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.  You guide me with your counsel, and afterwards you will take me into glory.  Whom have I in heaven but you?  And earth has nothing I desire besides you.  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and portion forever.    Psalm 73:23-26

Wouldn't it be so nice if we could live into this perspective?  I get so wrapped up in keeping up with the Jones' and having all my needs met.  And the worst part, the second things go sideways I freak out.  

I have found that the larger my understanding of God is, the deeper I lean into His love, and the more His ways become my ways, I actually do come to find my peace, my hope, my salvation, my life wrapped up in God and in the things of God.  

God is our portion!  We belong to Him and that needs to become enough.  For when it is, we are free from our petty desires and conflicts.  We are once again free to worry less and love more.  And mostly we are able to take our rightful places at the banquet table as precious daughters and son who work hand in hand with our Heavenly Father doing Kingdom work.  All of this is so much more satisfying than spinning out over our tiny san castles fighting each other for scraps.  

NO WAY!  THE LORD IS OUR PORTION FOREVER!

BE REFLECTIVE:

As you launch this new year, it might be helpful to think about some of the ways that you are fighting for scraps.  What are you spinning about? Fighting for? Hedging against?  

What needs to happen in your walk with God for you to move past the temper tantrum in the beginning of Psalm 73, to actually find the peace that Asaph has by the end?  You see all change, all peace, all hope, all begins with heart change.  And only Jesus is capable of that.  

BE A BLESSING:

When we are freaking out, protecting our hearts, fighting for what is ours, our world becomes very small and self centered.  One of the fastest ways to lean into the reality of God being our portion is to be more generous with what He has given us.  How can you give more of who you are and what you have been given to those in your world who are in desperate need of it?  And when you do, I hope you are encouraged to see how generous our Heavenly Father has been towards you.

BE TOGETHER:

Like starting all new things, it is always helpful to have a partner.  Someone to encourage you and remind you to keep going when the going gets tough.  Who can you invite into your life to walk with you move closer towards Christ this year?