T.G.I.F. – TODAY GOD IS FIRST – TUESDAY, JANUARY 1, 2019

Dissolving Partnerships

So Abram moved his tents and went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he built an altar to the Lord. – Genesis 13:18

Abraham took a totally different approach to solving this problem. He told Lot to choose which land he wanted. Imagine, Abraham could have been dooming himself and his family if he was unable to find adequate land and water for them. He gave up his rights in the matter, and Lot took full advantage. “Lot looked up and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, toward Zoar” (Gen. 13:10). So Lot left and took up residence in the valley later to be known as Sodom and Gomorrah. Sometimes what seems good on the front end turns out to be disastrous later. Such would be the case for Lot and his family.

As for Abraham, he made a choice. He decided to take life’s high road — a choice that didn’t necessarily mean his life circumstances would benefit him. He was willing to leave that outcome to God. He made the decision based on an eternal measuring stick. Interestingly, the place where Abraham moved was called Mamre. In Hebrew, the name Mamre means “strength.” How can choosing the weakest position become “strength”? Jesus must have asked the same question of His Father when faced with the proposition of going to the cross. How can the cross be a place of strength? The devil thought he had won, but the cross is what freed the captives for eternity. The Bible tells us that when we are weak, then we are really strong. To willingly choose the way of the cross becomes our strength.

GIRLFRIENDS IN GOD – TUESDAY, JANUARY 1, 2019

January 1, 2019
More Than a New Year’s Resolution
 Wendy Speake

 

Today’s Truth
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV).

Friend to Friend
My Christmas guests have left. My husband and our sons are celebrating the New Year with a camping trip in the dessert. I am home, undressing the tree and packaging our nativity set away for the next 11 months. These are my first quiet moments in weeks, with only the familiar sound of tissue paper crinkling as the soundtrack to my thoughts. During the hustle and bustle of guests and going, little space remained for this sort of pondering. But today, here in the quiet, I have 2019 on my mind.

Resolution.

I was thinking of sitting down and writing down a few resolutions today. However, I’m afraid that resolution is too small a word for all that’s on my heart. It lacks power, because resolutions are rooted in my resolve to do better. And I often fail at better. No matter how hard I try to read the Bible more consistently and drink more water and say no to sweets and limit the amount of time I spend on Facebook and increase the amount of time I spend on the treadmill… I rarely make it past January 10th transformed. Though I am desperate to be transformed. No, I don’t need another New Year’s resolution that will leave me unchanged. What I need is a revolution. That’s the word.

Revolution.

It came to me clearly as the Christmas bell I was carefully wrapping and laying in a box. I don’t need another resolution… and I don’t need more resolve. What I need is more of Jesus. Not a resolution that I make, but a revolution that He makes… in me. Christ in me, revolting against me in this world. His power revolutionizing my weakness. His transforming purpose prevailing over all my plans in the new year. What I need in 2019 is a total Jesus-revolution, way down deep in my fibers. Down in my habits too; my eating and my drinking and my shopping and the time I spend on social media. I need Jesus’ strength revolting against all of the areas of my life where I’ve been too weak for far too long!

My weakness stops me from turning resolutions into a reformed life. But the revolution power of Christ reforms and transforms me day-by-day-by-day, for 365 days as I learn to seek Him first.

I’m reminded of 2 Corinthians 12:9: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me”. That’s what I’m doing at the start of 2019, and I’m inviting you to do the same. Boast in the One who has the power to completely revolutionize your life this year.

Do you struggle with sugar addiction and food fixation? Resolving again to eat more veggies and less cookies won’t do it! We need a Jesus-revolution in our lives to transform our eating (and drinking too). We need more whole foods, yes. But what we really need is to ingest more of Him and His Word. We need to turn to Him more than we turn into the Starbucks drive-through. We need to run to Jesus, more than we run into our pantries. We need Jesus to crowd out all of the habits and all of our addictions that we’ve resolved to stop for years and years.

Here at the start of 2019, let’s revolt against all of the things we’ve been running to for comfort, when we could have been (should have been) running to the Comforter. Let’s revolt against our tendency to self-medicate with online shopping and run instead to the Great Physician. Do you see what I’m saying? We can make resolutions to stop spending and stop eating and start working out, but we’re simply too weak and lack the resolve to make it work. We don’t need another resolution, we need a revolution of Christ’s power in us as we begin a new year, eagerly anticipating radical transformation!

Let’s Pray
Dear Lord, More of You is what I need… more of You and less of me muscling through this life of faith another year. I am weak, but You are strong. That’s why I don’t need more resolve this new year, I simply need more of You.
In Jesus’s revolutionizing Name,
Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn 
What do you struggle with most? Do you struggle with sugar addiction? Year after year, do you make the same old resolutions to get to the gym and eat healthier? Or maybe you’re addicted to your phone, always scrolling through social media. Or maybe it’s shopping, retail therapy. Are you tired of the conviction and ready for transformation? A Jesus-revolution is just what you need this year!

More from the Girlfriends
If you struggle with addiction, whether with sugar, shopping, or social media, join Wendy Speake for her fifth annual 40 Day Sugar Fast, starting January 8th. You’ll start by giving God your sugar for forty days, but soon you’ll discover it’s about so much more. God never asked us for a sugar-sacrifice, He wants a living sacrifice. As we lay down all the temporary things that we think we need, He shows us that what we need is Him! Every year thousands of women sign up for forty days of fasting from sugar and feasting together on Christ and His satisfying word. Waistlines decrease as faith lives increase! It’s an incredible time of physical and spiritual transformation, and it all begins January 8th. Sign up today.

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