Begin 2019 with your end in mind
Most world cultures are fascinated with the start of a new year. So many wild traditions that are done the very first thing to try and bring good or avoid bad luck. We don't agree with the practices but we do agree with this: How we start matters. Firsts count. They point to priorities, beliefs, hopes, and even love. What are the 'firsts' you practice and where are they leading you?
All firsts have a trajectory; an end point. In scripture, firsts are highly important to God. First word, first command, first nation, first love, first hope. God has set it so that firsts don't exclude other things but they provide a context, alignment and perspective so that the others are valued rightly. His firsts point to and derive their authority from their end.
What will your end look like? Yes, I mean both your year end and the end of this part of your life. Without a clear end in mind, our firsts tend to be misdirected, misguided or short lived. We must know how they fit into the larger picture.
If you have not done so, please make a few minutes available, write your answers to these questions and take them before the Lord:
At the end of this year, what would you LIKE your life look like?
What will have changed?
What will have stayed the same?
What will you have learned?
How will your walk with God be altered?
What do you want others (who know you) to say about you?
Then this: What need you ask of God to get to your end? Begin this year with YOUR end in mind and let that inform, motivate and sustain your firsts. Stephen So much, much more on the replay - click here.
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Some had requested the word that I heard earlier on Thursday as I was preparing. Here you go. I will build My work greater than what you have been able to imagine for such is My heart for that which I have made and that which I have redeemed. My heart is greater than you can even begin to imagine and so your vision is always limited by that. To enter fully into My heart is to expand your ability to visualize what I am about and what I am about to do. You must become lost in Me – in Who I am and How I am. You must lose yourself in the Truth of what I have done so that you can see what I plan to do. Swim in My heart. Splash about in My waves. Be not afraid of being lost there for that is where you are truly found. Let me wash you again in the ocean that is My life blood. Let it permeate into your bones. Let my Life become your life. Do not pull back from what I want to release in you. Do not force your understanding on Who I am and what I do and how I do it. It’s okay to drown in My heart. The only death you’ll experience here is to die to that which is trying to kill you. That is what you die to in My heart: All the fear and manipulation and fretting over the nothings that assail you now. Give up and give over to be drowned in My Love. You will breathe better in the depth of my sea than you will struggling to stay on the top of it. Be at peace and fear not what must die so that you can be free in Me. I am your Alpha and I am your Omega. I am the beginning of this life and I am the end of all things. All this is in Me, for you who have been called by My name. Greater love has no man that this. I have laid down My Life so that you may have it in you. My Life must be in you for you to remain in Me. It cannot be around the perimeter but in the core. First things point to the end. The end determines what things are first. In this age of distraction, I speak. Hear my voice and follow me. Do not be afraid to present these things that I say. Do not be afraid of what I do in you. First things first – take up your cross and die. Let death be complete in the old man so that the new man may live fully and in joy. Lay down your life for Me. Lay it down so that you may pick up your new life. Remember your end. See not simply this life but that which is to come.