Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My Personal Challenge for 2012

I am a person who loves a good challenge.

 
I was recently challenged in a preaching by Jim Stier, the founder of Youth With A Mission in Brazil.  We heard him speak several times at a YWAM National conference we recently attended.  One night at this conference, Jim Stier said many awesome things about the Word of God...


Here are a few points from Jim Stier's preaching.

The WORD of God comes alive because of a PERSON,  JESUS CHRIST. 
Society is transformed when JESUS is known.  When the Holy Spirit touches and moves on a person and brings transformation it is because of an encounter with JESUS CHRIST. 
Everyone has ideas on how to bring change and help the poor, but true transformation comes through an encounter with JESUS.  We can encounter HIM through the WORD and through spending time with HIM…

After hearing this preaching I was challenged, encouraged and inspired once again to know the Lord MORE.  To be in the Word more and to come to know Jesus more through spending time with Him and spending time in the Word.

Being a missionary, sometimes I have seen how I am constantly talking to the Lord about our missions work and sometimes I can really be consumed with all that is related to serving on the mission field. Honestly, I have been guilty of putting my focus in the wrong place.  During my quiet times I end up praying about problems or situations here in the ministry where we work or for the children and families living in the slum where we live.  My quiet times become completely consumed with these things.  Of course God tells us to pour our hearts out to Him and to pray about all things, but I know many times I am getting my focus in the wrong place. 

Through this preaching I just sensed God reminding me to just be with Him, to be in His Word, to seek to know Him and to purposely FOCUS on Him - His Word, His character.  Jesus wants to be the center of my attention during my personal times alone with Him.

 I left the service that night with a reignited hunger and desire to know the Lord and to be in the Word more.

DELIGHTING 

Today as I was doing things around the house I was thinking about our daughter Sophia.  She brings SO MUCH joy to my life and I truly delight in her.  In the littlest things she says and does I am amazed. I find myself stopping everything to watch her and spend time with her.  I am utterly in awe of who she is, this precious life God has entrusted to me to raise and mother. I deeply delight in my daughter Sophia.


As I was reflecting on how much I delight in Sophia, I felt a stirring in my heart and I prayed, "Lord, I want to delight in YOU more..."

I know that in delighting in my daughter, I am (in a way) also delighting in the Lord. I praise the Lord for Sophia and He uses her life to speak deeply to me of His Father heart, His abundant love, life, joy, grace, goodness and character.  This is awesome, but I am realizing lately how little I stop and really delight in who the Lord is...  I want to learn again what it means to delight myself in the Lord, to be in wonder and amazement of Him, of His creation, of His Word.


 In my quiet time today I read Psalm 1 and this jumped off the page:

Blessed is the one...whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
   and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.
(vs. 1-3)

While reading I again prayed, "God I want to delight in You. I want to delight in Your Word."


My Personal CHALLENGE for 2012

While still at the YWAM National Conference, a few days after hearing Jim Stier's message about the Word of God, I was looking through our conference packet at the various freebies we had received.  I found a pamphlet entitled Read the Bible in One Year, with nicely organized daily Bible readings for each day of the year.
"God do you want me to do this?" I thought. 

This week my mind returned to this and now I am convinced that this is something I should try to attempt.   I have never read the Bible in one year before, and I know that it's definitely a goal worth devoting myself to.

  I want to commit to reading the whole Bible in 2012 and posting it here will hold me accountable and help me to actually do this. From time to time I may post some of the things God shares with me, I am expecting revelation already - YAY! I know sometimes it may be challenging to read daily, but I really want knowing the Lord and reading and living His Word to become more of a priority in my life. 

I am not sure what 2012 will hold, but I want to choose to hold on to the Word of God and commit to knowing my precious Lord more.