As you might know, I read through the Bible every year and have done so for the past 20 years. Sometimes on New Year's day I talk to the Lord particularly about speaking to me through the now familiar passages so that I really do see something new, something more - so that I really do hear from Him, through His living word.
I must say that this year has started wonderfully - not simply the 2020 vision understanding that He gave but also in the nuts and bolts of Genesis and Matthew, Psalms and Proverbs - the early chapters of those books - ones I think I know so well, which have brought forth tremendous challenge and blessing as I have sat with the Lord each day.
This morning I was reading in Proverbs 3 and came to verse 3 - 'Do not let kindness and truth leave you, bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart so you will find favour and good repute (understanding) in the sight of God and man......
Kindness and truth - the character of the Lord Jesus who, John tells us, was full of grace and truth. So it is His kindness, His truth that I must bind around my neck - I must do it - and write them on the tablet of my heart, my will. How will that happen, how will I actually do that? Only as I choose to walk His way, filling my mind with His truth, trusting that He really will enable me to follow Him, to choose to obey Him...........and then of course my prayer was 'Father, please help me to do this so that I really will walk in Your ways and always do Your will.
On to Matthew where I heard again from the Lord. Here the account in chapter 8 of the leper who comes to Jesus and simply asks for cleansing; here the account of the centurion who recognising Jesus' authority asks Him to say the word so that his servant will be healed - and Jesus commending him for his great faith. But then - on to the 12 in the boat, who having seen the faith of the leper and the centurion, heard the statements of the demons, seen the signs, still had not understood the truth that here was God in the flesh, God in their midst, and after He calmed the storm would still ask the question 'what kind of man is this...'
All the time the Lord Jesus is teaching them so that they will fully trust Him and not be afraid no matter what might come their way.
And I knew that all that I had read was for me, that he was showing me that I need not be anxious or afraid. I have already seen the Lord bring all things into order in DT, seen Him bring the people we have needed at just the right time......
I have seen Him bring help in my time of need - answer small and large requests, given that help freely and never withheld His forgiveness; through it all I have seen and known that He was with me and has strengthened me and grown my faith.
Now, today, in light of the new challenges ahead, He is telling me that I must choose to live in the truth of who He is, choose to remember all that He has already done whilst I continue on with Him. I must understand and trust that there is nothing I need fear - no obstacle too big, no situation too difficult, no loved one so lost, nothing at all that will come into my life that He has not already prepared and provided for.
And I must lay hold of His promise - the promise of 2020 vision - and so my prayer will be -
O Lord, keep me focused on You - on Your promise that You will give me the right words for every situation, the grace and the kindness and the truth for every challenge. Remind me that Your will is perfect, that You have already provided all that I will need for the road ahead and that it will always be Your best, Your blessing.
And again, once more, my vow - I will take Your hand Lord and I will walk with You, taking one step at a time.....and when the road looks difficult, the valley too deep and the mountain too high, I will hold on to this:
I will bind kindness an truth around my neck, I will write them on the tablets of my heart and I will never let them leave me - I will do as Proverbs 3 goes on to say:
I will trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding. In all my ways I will acknowledge Him and He will make my paths straight.
Amazing morning - amazing truth - amazing understanding and all given freely because I asked!
Hallelujah what a Saviour!