¡Hola, hola! Welcome to the week of the year in which everyone will be talking about New Year’s resolutions. And the underlying question -everyone’s secret question- is, “Will I have the will power to achieve what I have purposed in my own heart?” The good news for those who belong to God, for those who have been born of God, is that we become better people not by having a stronger will power, or by trying harder; we become better people by the work of the Spirit in us. We don’t have to wait until January 1st to start afresh, because we have each day to start afresh. Each day, when we open our eyes and yawn and stretch under the covers, we are breathing new mercies already. And as we take God’s book each day and open it, we are being renewed because the Holy Spirit is at work in us. Remember Ephesians? We walk in a life of sanctification as a result of the work of Christ on the cross on our behalf. Friends, we don’t have to try harder, Christ has done the hard part already. We should not try to try harder to become better Christians, our doing consists in believing in God and resting assured in the work of Christ on the cross. When we believe this, we start -and continue until the end- acting in faith as Christians. We cannot generate resolutions like pray more, read the Word more, love God more, mortify that sin, love our neighbor -and our enemies- more, can you see that? Only God can produce that in us! What a blessing! So, what are we to do? Nothing? Sleep more until it is late in the day without opening our Bibles? No, we pray and ask God to draw us to Him and then act upon what we have prayed. We take our Bible and open it and trust that He will indeed draw us to Him, that He will indeed feed us, and that He will satisfy us in the morning, every morning, with His steadfast love. And He will. We know that He is faithful: Christ had come and we live by faith.
This week we will continue reading Isaiah (ch.16-36) along with some Psalms (144,143), and start reading the gospel of John after having a catch-up day on Wednesday. I think that many will actually be using the catch-up day to actually catch-up with past readings, but if you are current, and are looking for some suggestions for that day, I would say read 1st John (and even 2nd and 3rd John).
Of course there is an immeasurable treasure to be mined in the pages we will be reading this week, but since this is only an email to encourage you to persevere in the Word, and not a book chapter, I can only emphasize one thing and today I want to point you to the importance of John’s gospel in regards to the case the apostle makes for the deity of Jesus. Be prepared to see the Messiah, the One whom Isaiah prophesied that would come and be with us, actually coming and showing us the glory of the Father. Be prepared to be amazed by God.
Friends, may our prayer this week be, “Father, through Jesus and in Jesus we come to you, asking You to fill us with your Spirit today, that from the fullness of Christ we may continue to receive grace upon grace to Iive the life you have given us to live.” (John 1:16)
Have a blessed New Year’s Celebration with your family and friends!
Under his Sun and by His grace,
Becky Pliego and the Team of Christ Church Ladies Fellowship