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Monday, January 5, 2015

Raise Your Expectations!

Happy New Year everyone!  As I am seated here and writing my first blog for 2015, I must admit that I am quite excited about all that Papa God has planned for you and me in the 361 days ahead!  In the days before Christmas I began to read ahead in Luke beyond the story that we studied in the Advent Calendar.  I didn’t get very far though, as I felt physically drawn into Jesus’ words in chapter four verses 16-22.  Have you ever had someone grab onto you and pull you in a door or away from where you might have been going?
Last night as I was guiding my wife into the restroom to help her get ready for the night, I was walking backwards and bumped a bit clumsily into the tub and almost fell over.  Thankfully I was able to catch myself and keep both Piper and I in an upright position.  As I reversed places with her, I smiled and asked her if she would have caught me if I had fallen backwards.  I pictured her reaching out and grabbing my shirt and yanking me back to safety- something that she has done in the past for me… usually when she would reel me in for a kiss (Oophs… did I actually say that in public?)!
Ah – hum… My point being that this was exactly what I felt like when I read those familiar verses in Luke.  When I began to study what was received as a shocking proclamation by Jesus’ friends and family from His hometown, I had many flashes of God’s plans for us and those who also believe in Him in the New Year ahead.  But I had to put the brakes on a little as it was still a week or so until the commencement of the New Year and I was trying my best to focus on the Celebration of Christ’s birth.
Many things jumped out to me as I continued to examine these exciting verses stated at the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry.  Thoughts of the allusion to the year of Jubilee which was described “as a year of universal release for person and property”  (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary), and the hints to the season of harvest from Ecclesiastes 3:1 in conjunction with God’s promise of “watching over his word to perform it” (ESV) flooded my mind.
Then I followed a hunch and googled 2015 only to discover that the United Nations has made a proclamation declaring 2015 as “The International Year of Light” as well as “The International Year of Soils.”  Without looking too deeply into the meanings that were behind their motions, I immediately got excited thinking about God’s definition of the word “light” and His thoughts of what “soil” represents in reference to Piper regaining her understanding (especially since He has already given us Isaiah 58:8 as a promise to stand on…) and soil in line with the harvest of His Word in her!
Now that we’ve finally begun 2015, I can hardly wait to jump into some intense fellowship with the Lord to hear more detail of what He has in store for us!  How about you?  Do you find yourself being like a race horse excitedly awaiting the opening of the gate so that you can charge ahead and run the race that Papa God has planned for you in the new 365 day segment of time in your lives?
Wow!  What an exciting thought!  But first let me warn you… Don’t set your expectations too low.  Feel free to set them high!  I found it interesting to see that the people that Jesus spoke to at the synagogue that day in Nazareth had their expectations set pretty low as they “watched him closely… and were amazed to hear the gracious words flowing from his lips.”  But then “they said, ‘Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” (Luke 4:20&22 God’s Word ©)  Those family and friends got stuck on their own understanding of Him.  They may have heard with their ears that day… but they didn’t hear and receive His true meaning with their hearts!
Don’t let that happen to you this year!  Reach out to Him and raise your expectations to new levels of understanding that allow Him to do His “exceedingly, abundantly above all we ask of think – far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! (Ephesian 3:20 KJV/The Message)  Wow!  Now if that doesn’t charge your personal battery and get you excited about 2015, I’m not sure what will!  Have a great week as you begin your adventure into the days ahead!  Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or How High are my expectations for 2015?”

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