Reflection, Preetha Mathews

The end of the year can mean many things for different people. It can mean the fresh start of new beginning, a clean slate. Last year’s failures, disappointments, unfulfilled hopes magically erased and the hope for a brighter future is rife with possibility. For others, it's the perspective that the advent of the new year will hold more of the same from its disappointing predecessor. But what does God say? "This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it." He said, “this is the day,” present tense. He also tells us to take the posture of rejoicing. Rejoice in the day that brings hard things. Rejoice in the day that brings beautiful things Whatever you’ve done or haven't done that day, He doesn't want you to dwell on it. That's probably why he gave us "new days." It's a resetting, a reboot. Regardless of what has or hasn't happened he wants us to rejoice. God is not a God of the past. He is actively present and purposefully, future. “For I know the plans I have for you…plans to give you a hope and a future.” If you’re putting your hope in the future of what 2107 may bring, you may be disappointed. For it’s not the future that we put our hope in, it is in the God who holds our future.

Reflection, Elba Ramirez

“DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED by the difficulty of keeping your focus on Me.  I know that your heart’s desire is to be aware of My Presence continually.  This is a lofty goal; you aim toward it but never fully achieve it in this life.  Don’t let feelings of failure weigh you down.  Instead, try to see your self as I see you.  First of all, I am delighted by your deep desire to walk closely with Me through your life.  I’m pleased each time you initiate communication with Me. In addition, I notice the progress you have made since you first resolved to live in My Presence” from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.  This devotional gives me so much peace and joy because as much as I try to keep my focus on Jesus, the distractions of this world pressures me and I tend to wander.  However, God’s unconditional love for me reminds me, “Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us”. Romans 8:33-34