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New Year’s Devotional – Day 3

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ADORATION – Reflect on God’s Greatness

GOD IS PEACE In 1 Corinthians 14:33 Paul says, “God is not a God of confusion but of peace.” Although “peace” and “order” have not traditionally been classified as attributes of God, Paul here indicates another quality that we could think of as a distinct attribute of God. Paul says that God’s actions are characterized by “peace” and not by “disorder” (akatastasia, a Greek word meaning “disorder, confusion, unrest”). God himself is “the God of peace” (Romans 15:33, 16:20, Philippians 4:9). But those who walk in wickedness do not have peace: “‘There is no peace,’ says the Lord, ‘for the wicked’” (Isaiah 48:22, 57:21).

CONFESSION: Confess your sins to God and receive his continued mercy.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

THANKSGIVING: Giving thanks to God for his specific blessings in our lives.

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100

SUPPLICATION: Bringing our requests to God.

  • Bring your personal prayer requests to God.
  • Pray for your friends and family who do not know Jesus. Ask God to draw them to Himself. Pray for opportunities to make His love known.

SCRIPTURE READING:
Hebrews 6 – New Living Translation
6 So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. 2 You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding.

4 For it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened—those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come— 6 and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame.

7 When the ground soaks up the falling rain and bears a good crop for the farmer, it has God’s blessing. 8 But if a field bears thorns and thistles, it is useless. The farmer will soon condemn that field and burn it.

9 Dear friends, even though we are talking this way, we really don’t believe it applies to you. We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation. 10 For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do. 11 Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. 12 Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.

God’s Promises Bring Hope
13 For example, there was God’s promise to Abraham. Since there was no one greater to swear by, God took an oath in his own name, saying:

14 “I will certainly bless you,
and I will multiply your descendants beyond number.”

15 Then Abraham waited patiently, and he received what God had promised.

16 Now when people take an oath, they call on someone greater than themselves to hold them to it. And without any question that oath is binding. 17 God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. 18 So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. 19 This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. 20 Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

SCRIPTURE REFLECTION:

What does mental faithfulness look like for you? How well would you say you are doing at taking thoughts captive to Christ? We should not become paranoid about our thoughts, but we must be diligent with them. We are all like gate guards standing watch over our own minds. What thoughts we allow to enter and stay in our minds are going to shape our lives. They will affect our relationship with God and with others. They will impact our choices. They will even impact our physical health, for better or for worse. They will impact our decision making in good and bad ways. You can’t keep every wrong thought from entering your mind, but you can and you must learn to discern if it is stinking thinking, and then refuse to allow it to stay. By refusing to allow it to stay I mean refuse to accept it as true. This could be a very complex topic since we are dealing with the brain (an organ) and the mind (a person). The brain stores memories based on life experiences and thoughts we have engaged. These memories can take on a life of their own and can be based on what is both real and just perceived. If a person has been through very difficult experiences, this can all become enormously complex. But let’s focus on what is basic and true. We can all, starting from where are now, learn to recognize good and bad thinking and do the work to let good thinking shape our minds. A really helpful starting point is gratitude. You can’t go wrong with actively going out and looking for reasons to be grateful. This active process of good thinking can be done by anyone at any time. Other good patterns of thinking can follow. So, your assignment today is simply this: “Hunt the good stuff.”

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