Preliminary Praise

I love the idea of "New Year's" -- the concept of starting over, of wiping the slate clean from the past year, and being invigorated for whatever changes lie ahead. I am all for a fresh start. Sometimes, I catch myself favoring the simplicity and excitement of New Year's over the hustle and stress of the Christmas holiday (how unfortunate our society has made it that way).

This past year entailed many transitions for me, and consequently much personal growth. I cannot say I am fully adjusted to such transitions quite yet, but I am holding onto the hope that Jesus is with me through this growing process and will see it through.

But outside of the personal, I am growing ever excited to see what God has in store this year for His children around the world -- those present and those yet to be adopted into His family.

If there is a fresh fire stirring in my own little chuch in Southern California, I have great expectations that fires are spreading across the globe. Something is about to happen. God's people are being stirred up. We are getting attacked and tested on all sides. Preparation for a great work is in motion.

Some thoughts shared by my beloved pastor in regards to this new work that is on the horizon:

God's past faithfulness demands our present trust.

We must trade the greatness of our task for the greatness of our God.

If we never step out of our own means, we'll never see what God means.

Let us stay close to Jesus to see what He might do ...

I am anticipating the revolution of God's church. I truly hope such a revolution is not limited to my own local church body, but that it will arise from all across the globe. Our God is a big God with magnificent plans.

Oh, that we would not limit Him, nor that we would not limit ourselves with tiny prayers burdened with fears, doubts, unbelief. Oh, that we can pray bigger. That we can get closer. Fall deeper. Carry more hearts inside our own.

Our Jesus prayed for us so fervently in that upper room so long ago:
I do not ask for [the twelve disciples] only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
With this fresh start that we have been given, it is my prayer that we would take God seriously, that we would pray more for the unity of the church (for such brings us in closer unity with God), that we would have no reservations or walls around our hearts, and that our soul's intention would be to make God's kingdom even bigger by drawing more souls to Him. The kingdom of heaven is very near. There is no time to waste.

Let us be praising our Father God for what He is going to do.

 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

For yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls. 

**John 17:20-21 ; Hebrews 10:23-25 ; 10:37-39

1 comment:

  1. I remember I once heard someone pray for the world to turn to God... and in my head i thought "wow... that's a bold prayer.." and definitely in a doubtful tone. As those words crossed my mind, I felt the conviction in my heart... How dare I look down on such a faithful prayer?! To us, the world is one of the largest things we can fathom... World peace seems impossible, let alone world-wide acceptance of the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ... To us, that seems impossible... but in comparison to God, we are but a vapor in the wind. We have to have faith to pray bold prayers! I was just reading in Matthew about the Roman Centurion and his faith in Christs healing hand. Jesus was not only pleased, but He was amazed! If we want to glorify our God, we need to have the faith that He answers even the boldest of prayers. With faith like yours, Noelle, it's no wonder your church is growing like a wildfire!