When I was a girl my dad had great expectations for me. I sang with Dinah Shore when her show aired. I danced with Lawrence Welk dancers. I dressed up when Sing Along with Mitch Miller was on. He thought surely I’d be famous. Maybe even Carnegie Hall was not too far fetched a place I’d go.
We all have our ideas of what success looks like for our children. We surely want them to pay their bills, own a home and have a family. We want them to grow up and be nice people. Going to church is always part of that hope. We may even pray for that.
But somewhere along the way I quit praying for my kids to go to church. I began to pray that they would live for Jesus. My wants, hopes and desires became much more focused. They still are. The simplest hope a believing mother has, and yet the most glorious one I do believe, is that their children live for Jesus.
Oh beloved, this new year is barely started and as a pastor said last Sunday, most everyone has already given up their resolutions for 2018. God wants you to know this morning thought, that He has great expectations for you. He wants you to be a success story. He wants you to know that within your being, as a born-again believer, that success is there. He loves your talents and gifts, but He is calling you in 2018 to a deeper walk with Him. Why would He not focus on the outward? Why would He call you to the inner life? Because, beloved, it’s the inner life that promotes the outer life.
He says to you don’t worry so much. He says look at your worries and see if any of the anxious thoughts of your life have added a thing to it. He wants your new year to be more relaxed and yet more focused. Whether you are going through hard times, or you are having the best time of your life, the need to be living from the secret place of faith is more important than ever. He also says don’t stress over the stuff that doesn’t matter. Build your life on the Lord Jesus Christ and watch what happens. He says you will begin to know who you really are in Christ. He says this is your year to believe Him. He watches over you and He calls you His own. No one else in all the world loves you like He does. He wants you to believe Him – that you are called, beloved, treasured, saved, redeemed, renewed, anointed and appointed. He wants you to know that not one prayer you breathe is ever wasted. And He wants you to know in the fullness of time everything will be revealed and you will understand why answering His call and living in His shadow is your best decision.
God loves you and He’s for you. Leave last year where it is – in the past. Embrace 2018 as though it is the year Christ is going to return for His own – for you. And allow yourself the luxury of being the favored child of Abba Father – your Father God. And live, beloved, for the success of the One who loves you most and has the best plans for you always.
Luke 10: 41-42 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord replied, “you are worried and upset about many things. but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
John 6: 27 “Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”
2 Thessalonians 1: 11 “So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of His call. May He give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.”
I John 3: 1 “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.”