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In Old Testament times people understood full well what a sacrifice was. Devout Hebrews would go out to their barns, look over their flock, and take the very best, kill it and offer it to God. This was no small deal. That meant taking the very thing that would make you the most money and simply destroy it. No monetary compensation. No physical profit. Yet they realized that the value far outweighed the cost. What was at stake couldn’t be bought. What they received was forgiveness and peace with God.

Jesus became our sacrifice. He paid a debt I could not pay. Paul calls us to be living sacrifices. He calls us to give all we have to God. Not to earn his favor. Jesus did that. We give God all we have in gratitude for what He’s gives us. The problem with living sacrifices is they tend to crawl off the altar when the fire gets too hot!

Father help me to stay on the altar; to give all I have especially when times are tough. Lord Jesus, thank you for giving me the example of sacrifice. Holy Spirit, empower me to stay true. Amen.


President John F Kennedy is credited with saying “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”. In essence he borrowed heavily from a principle taken from the Holy Bible. The apostle Paul has that same principle in mind when writing to the church located in Corinth. That principle can be stated in many ways but in its simplest terms, what we get out of something is directly proportionate to what we put into it. When we stop contributing to the emotional and physical needs of personal relationships, we stop feeling fulfilled by them; when we stop putting forth our best effort at the workplace, our jobs become mundane and redundant; when we develop a consumer mentality in our churches, we “no longer feel fed/get anything out of it.” It carries over in our spiritual lives as well. When we fail to plant the seeds of prayer, scripture and corporate fellowship, we stop growing spiritually. Then we wither under the weeds of this worlds concerns and wonder where God is. A neglected field offers no crops regardless of the weather. We can’t expect God to provide fruit when we haven’t cultivated the seed. Here’s the good news. He doesn’t expect perfection, he only seeks progress. Step out. Step up. Watch him work!


As we look forward to 2020 we begin a new decade. This year will be full of change. Some will expected, some will surprise us. Some changes will be pleasant but some may be painful. Each new year is a great time to look back and reflect on what has gone on in life. The good, the bad and the ugly. Not to dwell on it but to use the last years events to build on next years success.

Following are some verses that may help you reflect on the past, and set some goals for 2020 (ie. I want to read my Bible at least 5 days a week; I’m going to make church attendance a priority ; I’m going to find one thing everyday to thank God for; etc) Maybe you even want to write them somewhere so you can look back at them from time to time to measure your progress. I’ve included some “thought questions” that may help your meditation. Don’t feel you need to spend a lot of time on each verse. Perhaps you want to choose two or three that meant something during your first reading and after asking Gods direction.

• What action-step is this verse calling me too?

• Where am I in the game of life. A spectator, bench rider or active participant? What do I need to do to change that?

• What am I afraid of in 2020? How does this verse help?

• What life-style change do I need to ask Gods Holy Spirit to help me with?

• Who do I need to forgive?

1. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3)

2. “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.'” (Isaiah 1: 18)

3. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24)

4. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin (Romans 6:6)

5. A new command I give you: Love one another. As Jesus has loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are His disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:34-35)

6. Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. (Psalms 71:3)

7. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19)

8. Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. (Psalms 96:1)


Quite often, if not always, when we are brutally honest with ourselves, we lose hope when we focus on the finite rather than the infinite. I get discouraged when things don’t go my way. I get sad when life deals me a bad hand whether it be as a consequence for my own behavior or attacks from others. When I set my mind on God (sometimes forcefully?) and remember my only hope comes from him through his Son Jesus, then I can praise him. Praise is like a light in darkness. No amount of darkness can defeat the smallest amount of light.


When we think of meeting God do we do so in fear over what we have done and how we have failed him, ourselves and others? This should not be! Yes, as the psalmist says, we should examine ourselves to be sure there is no unconfessed sin, but meeting God as a believer in Jesus Christ should be a time of celebration for all he has done for us and what we have in store for us in the future! Your sin is washed in the blood! He has thrown them as far as the east is from the west! There. Is. No. Condemnation. NOTHING can separate you from his love. Rejoice in his presence. You are a new creation. The joy of the Lord is your strength!

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