INTRODUCTION

Looking back on 2009, I stand in awe of what God has done in my life!  He has set me free from fear of many kinds and given me confidence that came and continues to come from Him alone, as I see how faithful He is to give me His peace, strength, and courage in situations which would have filled me with anxiety, doubt, and fear in the past.
I have learned to trust Him in many areas of my life in which I was unable to trust Him enough to surrender to Him before, and He has given me my dignity as a person back and has helped me to stop worrying  about almost everything.
This past year has brought many challenges, including a change of my position at work, and another change in  management that always attempts to bring apprehension …but God gave me His peace as I submitted to change.  I believe He is in control of all the circumstances, no matter how unsettling they may appear to be at first.  I actually was filled with excitement to see what God had in store for me, and had a couple of opportunities to witness to people that would not have happened if I had not submitted to what I was asked to do. 
Although I am far from perfect, I give the glory to God for who I am today.  I have grown a lot spiritually and emotionally this past year, by learning to trust God in an even deeper way than I already have learned to do. 
I also have others whom I deeply appreciate and want to thank.   The encouragement I received from all of you,  allowed me to receive the healing God wanted to bring to my heart and mind, and because of you I had the courage to step out and trust God more fully than I have ever dared to do in the past.
As my Bible Study teacher said to our group many years ago when I was a brand new Christian… “Besides having God to turn to in our time of loneliness and sorrow, sometimes we need people with skin on.”  How true!  Where would we be without the encouragement of others?!
One person in particular I would like to thank.  When I shared many of the things I had been through in the past, and as I now look back at who I was even a few years ago, the words this person had said to me in response to what I had shared, brought tears to my eyes, and still continues to do so, because it was so beautifully put!  I could think of no better way to express what God has done in my life, than to quote this person’s words.  “”…I once heard a sermon about how Moses needed Aaron and another to hold up his arms while he prayed.  This taught me that we need each other to help us through hard times.  He is restoring you to the person He wants you to be, how wonderful to know that while you were going through such a tough time and feeling like a crumpled piece of paper that the Lord already had a plan to iron out all the creases.””
Even though I have finally learned to receive my worth as a person from God and what His Word says about me, and not from what others say, I needed ‘someone with skin on’ to help me really believe that I do have worth and value.  Because of you, your prayers, and the encouragement you have given me, God has enabled me to hold my head up, and to believe that He will somehow use my life for His glory.  Thank you : )
This poem came about as I reflected upon all I am trying to do to expose the ‘new age’ teachings that are penetrating the church today.   God made me realize that in my attempts to live for Him, I have once again allowed my priorities to get out of order.  I have been spending a lot of time on YouTube, choosing many videos to warn people about certain false teachings, and have done other things as well, trusting God will use them to expose the spiritual darkness, that is being accepted by many Christians without hesitation, for the most part.  In doing so, I not only have fallen behind (again) on keeping my home in order, but I have also neglected my one on one time with God.   Even though I read my Bible every day, and am almost constantly  praying throughout each day, so that my attitude concerning the things I have to deal with in life and at work on a daily basis is pleasing to God, and I lift up in prayer those who come to mind, He made me realize the most important thing for me to do is to spend more time with Him, giving Him praise and worshipping Him, and not spending so much time trying to do things for Him.  That being said, I decided to save time by combining my thoughts and the two poems I intended to write.  One in thanks to God for what He has done in my life this past year, with the poem I would write for the New Year that is only a matter of hours away. 
If you are a true follower of Christ, I pray God will use it to cause you to search your heart and make any necessary changes, so that Jesus will once again be your first love.
As those of us who are followers of Christ are about to enter 2010, let it not be so much about what we can do for Him, as important as it still is, but let’s choose to spend more time with Him.  We are set free and forgiven because of what He has already done for us.  He deserves our praise, and all the glory and honor He is due, and needs to be the main focus of our lives.  And because without Him we can do nothing, living apart from Him will make every attempt to live for Him, fail!
 
SCRIPTURES FOR YOU TO REFLECT UPON
 
“Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain.”  (Psalm 127:1)
“Remain in Me, and I will remain in you.  No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.  Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.  I am the vine; you are the branches.  If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.”               (John 15:4-6)
“I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance.  I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them to be false.  You have persevered and have endured hardships for My name, and have not grown weary.  Yet this I hold against you: You have forsaken your first love.  Remember the height from which you have fallen!  Repent and do the things you did at first.  If you do not repent I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.”  Revelation 2:2-5)
 
“Then they asked Him,  “What must we do to do the works God requires?”  Jesus answered,  “The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent.”  (John 6:28,29)
It’s not what we do that saves us…it’s putting our trust in what Jesus has already done that covers us in His righteousness and allows us to have a relationship with God.  Yes, we are to make the most of the time He gives us in our lives to make His love and truth known to others, but our lives should be focused more on Him and not what we can do for Him. 
For those of you who have not yet placed your trust entirely in the provision God made for you to have a personal relationship with Him, by putting your trust in Christ’s death, burial, and bodily resurrection alone, I pray you will start this New Year by surrendering your own attempts to attain His acceptance, and be willing to turn from your sin and receive Jesus’ death as full payment for the guilt of your sin.  You will have His peace that surpasses all human understanding, joy that doesn’t depend upon the circumstances of life to carry you through the disappointments and heartaches of life, His grace that will prove to be sufficient to you, and His strength that will be made perfect in your weakness.  God bless you.
I seem to be encountering another problem.  I may have exceeded my limit for writing this introduction and poem, and therefore it did not space properly.  I have tried at least three times to correct the problem, but was unsuccessful.  Maybe God is really trying to make me realize that ‘It’s not about me…it’s all about Him.’  So please try to overlook the messy appearance of this page, and instead focus on the message.  God bless you and a Blessed and Happy New Year to you : )
IT’S NOT ABOUT ME…IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU
Things lay around me in disarray,
And I don’t take enough time to read my Bible and pray,
In my desire to expose spiritual darkness, and to encourage others, yes, these things I find the time to do,
But I don’t spend enough of my time with You,
I take the time to lift up those on my heart in prayer,
I try to let others know how much I care,
But it’s not about me, and the things I can do,
It’s all about spending more time giving praise to You,
You gave Your life so willingly,
You gave Your all to set me free,
You shed Your blood so I could be,
Your child for all eternity,
Be my first love once again,
Be my main focus, not just my Lord and friend,
Be my joy, my heart’s delight,
Be the first thought of my day and the last one of my night,
Lord, draw near to me in my complacency, and fan the flames anew,
Give me a fresh hunger for Your Word,
Show me things I’ve never heard,
As I renew my comittment to You.
Written by Mary K. Dalke/LivingForHisGlory/Living4HisGlory
Copyright © 2009  All rights reserved.
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