Happy New Year! I very simply want to start 2021 with my eyes on Jesus. There were SO, so many distractions in 2020. I think the vast majority of us had our eyes glued onto our circumstances, rather than onto Him. We talked and talked about all 2020 was taking from us. I want to talk more about Jesus this year. He is good and is the answer for every problem we face. Let me just remind you who He is…
“So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son,” (John 1:14 NLT).
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him,” (John 3:16-17 NLT).
“He wants not only us but everyone saved, you know, everyone to get to know the truth we’ve learned: that there’s one God and only one, and one Priest-Mediator between God and us—Jesus, who offered himself in exchange for everyone held captive by sin, to set them all free,” (1 Timothy 2:4-6 MSG).
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever,” (Hebrews 13:8 TLB).
“Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father,” (Philippians 2:8-11 NLT).
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He was alive before the foundations of the earth. He was miraculously, humbly sent to earth as an infant. He gathered people and taught them about God’s love. He lived a perfect, sinless life. He pursued those who were on the fringe. He healed people and gave them purpose and hope. He gave up His life and suffered a criminals’ death to pay for our sins. He came back to life on the third day. His sacrifice made salvation possible for you and I. And if that wasn’t enough, then He sent us the Holy Spirit.
Jesus saved me from a life of shame and fear. I was full of potential but felt completely lost and useless. I was desperate to hide who I was from myself and everyone around me. He broke through all that junk, saved me, and made me His. He has spoken to me and provided for me. I am who I am because of Him.
I want to be consumed with thoughts of who Jesus is and what He is doing. We are so fortunate to be alive right now. Jesus is moving on the earth and He has beautiful plans for us. He is pursuing hearts that are far from Him. He is healing the sick and delivering those in bondage. He is shifting our priorities and teaching us how to be more like Him.
I pray that we will intentionally fix our eyes on Him – not on our feelings, opinions, worries, etc. Those things quickly become idols if we aren’t careful. Nothing should be more important in our lives than our relationships with Him. Jesus deserves our time and attention. In fact, He promises that if we will seek Him, we will find Him.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me,” (Jeremiah 29:11-13 NLT).
If you go looking for Him, you WILL find Him. It’s a promise straight from scripture. Many of us spent 2020 fearful, lonely, and dreading each day. It seems so simple but time with Jesus is the antidote to all of those problems. He fills us with peace. He speaks to us, comforts us, and makes us more like Him. He fills us with the Holy Spirit, who empowers us and sends us out to reach others for Him. Life with Jesus is exciting!
I want to encourage you to prioritize spending time in your Bible, in worship, and in prayer. Participate in (and contribute to!) your church, whether you’re comfortable attending in person or online. YOU are the Church so it’s not the same if you don’t show up. Since Jesus has given us everything, let’s give Him our very best.
I hope that you have a wonderfully blessed, JOY-filled 2021 and that you grow closer to Jesus. Whatever comes our way this year, we have Him and He is more than enough.