Archive | December 2020

2021, Here We Come!

We are in the final week of 2020, and most are hoping and praying that 2021 will be a better year than 2020 has been. We really don’t know what 2021 will bring, but as we approach this new year, I have my eyes fixed on Jesus. How about you? Are your eyes fixed on Jesus? I don’t want to be sidetracked by what may happen or what people may do in 2021. I want to hold onto the goal that I am being beckoned to move forward to Jesus. The only way for me to do that is to keep my eyes fixed on Him.

Over the years, to help me keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, I have learned to use scriptures to guide me in my prayers. I have hung on to His words to help me lean into what He wants me to do concerning my relationship with Him. Here are just a few scriptures that have helped me navigate through 2020 and will help me press into 2021:

“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have made it. But, I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal where God is beckoning us onward – to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” (Philippians 3:12-14 MSG)

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. (Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT)

“I look up to the mountains; does my help come from mountains? No, my strength comes from God who made heaven and earth, and mountains. He won’t let you stumble, your Guardian God won’t sleep. Not on your life Israel’s Guardian will never doze or sleep.” (Psalm121:1-3 MSG)

” When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is mankind that You are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” (Psalm 8:3-4 NIV)

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10 NIV)

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. (John 3:16-17 NIV)

There are so many more scriptures I could list, and I am hopeful you already have your own guiding scriptures. I just believe in order to step into this new year, and to face all that awaits whether good or not so good, we must press into God’s Word. In His Word, we find how much He loves us and how compassionate He is towards us.

I pray you have a blessed and safe new year. 2021, Here we come!

***********************************************

Dear Father, we thank you for being our Good Shepherd. We honor and praise You for being kind and merciful to us. We thank You for this last week of December, and we thank You for giving us strength to run to the end of 2020.

LORD, there have been some challenging days and some moments where our hearts have been heavy, but we have held onto knowing that You have never left us or forsaken us. We thank You, Father, for being our Protector, our Provider and our Peace. We thank You for giving us hope when all around seemed hopeless. LORD, we thank You for the joy You gave us even as we were weeping.

Dear LORD, we pray for safe passage into this new year. Please bless and keep us through all that we may face in the days to come. Please continue to protect us, to provide for us and to guide us. Precious Father, we pray for Your divine healing grace and mercy to cure all manner of sickness and disease. We pray You will provide safe shelter for those who are homeless. Father, bless the unemployed with jobs and thank You for all the financial blessings we will recieve.

LORD, we pray as this year ends and a new one begins that the spiritually lost will be found and the spiritually blind will see. We thank You for bringing prodigal sons and daughters home. Lord, we declare breakthrough and deliverance for those struggling because of evil plots and plans that have taken them out of Your will.

LORD, we pray that as we look to the hills, we see You as our forever Help in this world. Please forgive us for our wrongs and disobedience. Help us to do better and to live more righteously. Father, we thank You in advance for all You will do to keep us safe and watch over us. Because of You, Lord and because we know You go before us, we boldly declare to 2021, Here we come! In the matchless and mighty name of Jesus, we say amen and amen again!

Are You Ready?

We have made it to the last month of 2020! I don’t know about you, but now that we are in December I feel this year has zipped by! Yes, I said zipped! In spite of all that has been going on around us, I feel like 2020 started just a short while ago and here we are approaching the last few weeks of the year! You’re probably thanking God for 2020 coming to an end, but are you ready for 2021? Are you really ready?

I have been hearing people say “I will be so glad when 2020 is over.” Or I’ve heard, “I can’t wait for things to get back to normal!” Do you really think things will go back to a resemblance of 2019 as if 2020 did not happen? During my 2020 experience, I have felt that God was shaking things up so that we would not return to the normalcy of pre-2020, but that what He planned for us would manifest in the earth.

Now don’t get me wrong, 2020 was not what I had anticipated it to be. One minute we were ushering in a new year with new resolutions, new hopes, and then all of a sudden, something happened that we did not expect to see or experience! And the interesting thing about approaching the year 2020 was that many were speaking of it being a year of 20/20 vision and insight! I’d venture to say that most of us did not see any of what we expected to see in 2020! I look at 2020 not just as another year in my life, but I will remember it as an unusual and amazing experience. The year 2020 has not been like any other year I have seen in my lifetime. I have had my share of ups and downs this year; I’ve had moments of joy and moments of despair, but God has continually blessed me and sustained me throughout 2020.

Isaiah 55:8-11 says “For My thoughts are not your thoughts and your ways are not My ways. This is the LORD’s declaration. For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. For just as rain and snow fall from heaven, and do not return there without saturating the earth, and making it germinate and sprout, and providing seed to sow and food to eat, so My word that comes from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please, and it will prosper in what I send it to do.” No matter what we were planning and thinking right before the strike of midnight on January 1, 2020, God’s thoughts were already different than ours. His plans, in the midst of all that we have experienced in 2020, was that His word would accomplish what He intended to accomplish.

I ask again, are you ready? Are you ready for what 2021 may bring? I hear the LORD say don’t just finish the year strong, finish ready! Be prepared! He asks what have you learned about Him in 2020 that will prepare you for 2021? Have you grown in your relationship with Him over these past 12 months? Have you spent more time complaining or have you spent more time being grateful? Have you worried more or have you put more of your trust in Him? Have you spent more time watching news reports or have you spent more time reading the Bible and feasting on God’s word? Have you prayed and fasted more? It’s not too late to consider making some changes before midnight strikes and we usher in the year 2021.

I don’t know how much different 2021 will be from 2020, but I do know God has a purpose and a plan for us. What God has set in motion will not return to Him empty or void. In 2020 we have gone through the pains of feeling the thorns from the rose bush before we see the rose blooming. I don’t know about you, but I am ready to see the roses bloom!

The remainder of Isaiah 55 in verses 12-13 reads as follows: You will indeed go out with joy and be peacefully guided; the mountains and the hills will break into singing before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thorn bush, a cypress will come up and instead of the brier, a myrtle will come up; it will make a name for the LORD as an everlasting sign that will not be destroyed.

Before this year ends I would encourage you to give some thought as to what you have learned from 2020. More importantly, what have you learned from God? I would also encourage you to write your thoughts and memories in a journal. I think our 2020 experience will make some amazing stories to tell in later years.

************************************

Dear Father in Heaven, how amazing and wonderful You are! Thank You for blessing us to live through the experience of 2020. Prepare us to be ready for what You have in store for us in 2021. Saturate us with strength, power, wisdom, knowledge and love that comes from You. LORD, let the words of our mouths and meditations of our hearts be acceptable to You. Forgive us of our sins. LORD, we thank You for being the giver of life and the sustainer of life. Prepare us to be ready for what You will accomplish in the days ahead and bless us to see how Your plans will prosper in this land. In the precious and mighty name of Jesus, amen!