CAN THIS YEAR REALLY BE ANY DIFFERENT?

Megan Evans, Women’s Ministry Director LHBC

 Isaiah 51:1 (NLT)
Listen to Me, all who hope for deliverance-all who seek the LORD!  Consider the rock from which you were cut, the quarry from which you were mined. 

“This will be the year,” you may have told yourself recently.  Perhaps this year you desire to start a new habit like praying or reading your Bible, or perhaps you want to break a bad habit like that old familiar cycle of sin.  Maybe it’s even the year to heal, let go, or forgive.  Whether you’ve decided to change an attitude or an action, it’s hard work!  Can this year really be any different?  Our key verse speaks to those who hope for deliverance.  Yet it is no secret that the enemy wants us to fail. And when you hear his familiar lies of defeat and failure, it’s time for some fighting words.  As a child of God, our fighting words are embodied in the power and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the very One who defeated sin and death.  God tells us that we are more than the sum of our mistakes (Isaiah 43:18, Hebrews 8:12).  We are reminded today to “consider the rock from which you are cut.”  The prophet Isaiah spoke these words to a faithful remnant of God’s people following a period of captivity.  Isaiah reminded them that their spiritual heritage was Abraham and the covenant that God had cut with him.  God had promised land, fruitfulness, and blessing, and that out of captivity God would bring redemption and restoration for His people.  There would be joy and gladness once again.  Ephesians 2:11-22 explains that through the cross, Christ united Jews and Gentiles into one family-the church, built upon a firm foundation with Jesus as its cornerstone.  This is your spiritual heritage and that is the rock from which you are cut, and the reason you can claim victory over defeat today.  This year really can be different when we are growing daily in our walk with God with purpose and intentionality.  When we are walking in step with the Holy Spirit and nurturing our relationship with Jesus, our desires begin to align with God’s will for our life. It becomes a joy to read the Bible or to pray, for example, rather than a checklist or chore.  Addictions are broken.  His power becomes our willpower.  Hearts are changed.  Make this the year that Jesus is the cornerstone of your life, the firm foundation on which all else in your life is built.  We can live steadfast and victorious over sin and defeat.  When the enemy says you’re a failure and that you’ll never change, you have fighting words.  Cry out in response to defeat, “that’s not the rock I’m cut from!”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Dear Lord, may this year be victorious as I seek you first.  Instead of squeezing you into convenient places in my life, teach me to build everything in my life around you.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

MEMORY VERSE FOR THE WEEK:
Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.