A Light For The New Year
"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet,
and a light unto my path."
Happy New Year! As we looked at New Testament Bible verses that were easy memory verses just before Christmas, I thought about some of the Bible verses I taught my children when they were small. To make it easier for them to remember, we began with the letter "A" and learned a verse for each letter of the alphabet. Psalm 119 has verses to represent each letter through the alphabet in its original language, and we are using verse 105 of this Psalm for our theme this month. As you begin this New Year, let God's Word be a lamp to your feet as you go through each new day. You can also follow His Word as a light for your path as you look toward your future. God's Word is never outdated. It was good for Moses, Abraham and King David long, long ago and it is still good for us today. As you read the devotions this month, study the verses and remember them from day to day. Let God's Word be your Light for the New Year!
A “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” Proverbs 15:1
B "Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;" Ephesians 5:1
C “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.” Ephesians 6:1
D “Do all things without murmurings and disputings:" Philippians 2:14
E “Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever." Psalm 145:2
F “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23
G "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Luke 2:14
H “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Matthew 11:15
I "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD." Psalm 122:1
J “Jesus wept.” John 11:35
K “Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture." Psalm 100:3
L “Let brotherly love continue." Hebrews 13:1
M “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.” Psalm 100:1
N “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” John 15:3
O “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” Psalm 118:29
P “Pray without ceasing.” I Thessalonians 5:17
Q “Quench not the Spirit.” I Thessalonians 5:19
R “Rejoice evermore." I Thessalonians 5:16
S “Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing." Psalm 100:2
T “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
U "Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul." Psalm 25:1
V “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” John 6:47
W "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee." Psalm 56:3
X “Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.” Psalm 26:2
Y “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." John 15:14
Z “...The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this." Isaiah 9:7
“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” Proverbs 15:1
Have you ever noticed that when there is an argument, if you can keep your cool and stay calm it helps the other person calm down? That's what our verse is telling us today. If we yell right back at someone, it only makes them want to yell louder. When my children were small and I began teaching them Bible verses I knew that this would be a good verse for the letter "A" because it was a verse that I could remind them of when they had little squabbles. Just as we expect children to play fair and be polite, we also need to be polite and speak softly. Don't yell at your waitress if your food order isn't right. When your children drop something accidently it isn't necessary to scream at them. It breaks my heart to see parents or even couples yelling at each other in stores or parking lots. Learn this verse and try to follow it, and see if your soft words calm any storms in your life.
"Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;" Ephesians 5:1
When I was a little girl I liked to walk in my Daddy's footprints. When we walked along the shore of the beach or in the snow I liked to follow in his steps. Not only do children follow in their parents' footsteps this way, but they often follow their mannerisms and habits. Sometimes my daughter and I kid each other about sharing a brain because we often say or do the same thing at the same time. Just as children follow their parents, we are to follow God. It is amazing that God would even accept us as children, but when we believe on Jesus as our Lord and Savior we are adopted into the family of God. The next verses go on to tell us how to walk. "And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks." (Ephesians 5:2-4) We can be followers of God as we walk in love... love to God, and love towards one another.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.” Ephesians 6:1
This was one of the first verses I taught my children when they were young. I started to choose another verse in its place, but I decided to go ahead with this one. It was good for the church at Ephesus. It was good for my children. And it would be good for the children of today. Parents should teach their children to obey. I see so many children hit and kick their parents, and yell back at them. This is wrong. If children don't have respect for their parents, how will they grow up with respect for their teachers, and later their bosses or legal authority. And most of all, if they don't learn respect for their earthly parents, how will they know to respect God, our heavenly Father? Read this verse. "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right." Teach this verse to your children. Have respect to those in authority. "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour." (I Timothy 2:1-3)
“Do all things without murmurings and disputings:" Philippians 2:14
Here is another verse I taught my children to help them learn to "get along". We all could remember this verse to help us have better relationships in our families, in our peer circles, and workplaces. And since this verse was written to the church at Philippi, it is also appropriate to say that we need to remember this verse as Christian brothers and sisters. Don't let Satan hinder your worship by tempting you with little "petty" issues that cause hard feelings against one another. "Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain." (Philippians 2:14-16)
“Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever." Psalm 145:2
We have come only a few days into the New Year. Many of us made New Year's Resolutions. You may have one of these on your list. Every day I will stick to my diet. Ever yday I will try to exercise for at least 20 minutes. Every day I will read 5 chapters in my Bible. Every day I will save a little bit of money. Every day I will do a good deed for someone and make a difference in someone's life. We are less than a week into the New Year and there are probably some of you reading this that have not been able to do exactly all that you had planned. In our verse for today we find something that we can all do everyday. "Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever." We can praise the Lord everyday of our lives, for ever and ever. The daily demands in our lives can hinder us from keeping our New Year's Resolutions, but we can all take a few minutes everyday to praise the Lord. The Psalms are filled with praise to our God, even to the last verse. "Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD." (Psalm 150:6)
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23
This is the first step to salvation. In order to be saved, we must first realize that we are lost. God is a holy God and we can't measure up to His righteousness. Adam sinned, and we have all followed after in sin, as we read a couple of chapters over. "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:" (Romans 5:12) And in Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." After the conviction of the Holy Spirit and we realize that we are lost sinners and on our way to hell, we must realize that Jesus Christ is the only way, the only sacrifice that paid our sin debt, to set us free and give us eternal life. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation... For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:9-10 & 13) Won't you believe on Him today?
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Luke 2:14
Today we have another verse of praise. This verse was proclaimed by a multitude of angels as they praised God to the shepherds. You may be thinking that this is a Christmas verse, as we heard this verse often last month in our Christmas celebrations. Don't put away your Bible with your ornaments and decorations. Don't put the Word of God in a box in the corner of your mind as you put the play costumes back in the closet. We need to praise the Lord everyday and give God the glory all year round.
“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Matthew 11:15
Recently someone stopped me and asked if I had ever thought about the way God has created us. He told me a few things that have been on his mind lately and today I want to share a few of his thoughts with you. God has given us two eyes to see with. Have you ever stopped to thank God for giving you sight? Think of all the wonderful things you see every day. Think of how dark your world would be if you didn't have your eyes. God gave us a mouth to speak. He gave the animals mouths too, but He gave us the ability to talk to Him in prayer. He gives us voices to sing praise to Him. God gave us legs to walk, and arms with hands to work, and fold in prayer. And now to our verse, He gave us ears to hear. Paul tells us in Romans 10:17, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." God made a way of salvation, and He freely gave us His Word that tells us how to be saved. One of my favorite verses is in Revelation 3:20. "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Have you heard His voice?
"I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD." Psalm 122:1
I enjoy going to church. I like the fellowship with Christian brothers and sisters. I enjoy the singing and learn from the preaching and teaching of God's Word. God gives me spiritual help, comfort, peace, and blessings. I can truly say with David, "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD." He also ended the 23rd Psalm, "... I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever." We gain so much from being faithful to the house of God, but don't forget our primary reason for going. That is to worship the Lord our God. Worship. Worship in your singing. Worship in your praise. Worship in your giving. Worship with love toward other Christian believers. If you are looking for a church home and you live in central North Carolina, let me invite you to visit with us at Pine Grove Baptist, where Interstate 85 and Highway 62 meet.
“Jesus wept.” John 11:35
When I was growing up you didn't let anyone see you cry or you suddenly had a new nickname of "Crybaby". When we watched sad movies on TV we wiped our eyes on our sleeves so that no one would see us get up to get a kleenex. We were made to feel that crying was for babies and big girls didn't cry. Crying is the first thing we do when we are born and we shed many tears, whether openly or inside, throughout our lives. We shed tears of joy at births and weddings, and tears of sorrow at funerals. We weep tears of pain, tears of regrets, and tears of repentance. Jesus wept tears of compassion here at the mourning of Lazarus. "Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled. And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!" (John 11:32-36) We also read in Luke 19:41 that Jesus wept over Jerusalem. Again, He shed tears of compassion. Sometimes it's good to cry. We should weep over lost souls, as we read in Psalm 126:5. "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy." David also said, "Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?" (Psalm 56:8) In Revelation 21:4 God promises to wipe away all the tears of His children, while those that are lost will spend eternity in hell where there will be continual weeping. Have you given your heart to the Lord?
“Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture." Psalm 100:3
"Know ye that the LORD he is God:..." A lot of people know about Jesus. They celebrate Christmas and even go to church occasionally. But it is not enough to know about Jesus, we must believe that He is the Son of God. I John 4:14-16 tells us, "And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him." "...it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves;..." I like the way David said it in Psalm 139:14, "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well." God created us and knows everything about us. Jesus said that even the hairs of our head are numbered. (Matthew 10:30 and Luke 12:7) "... we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture." We can see a beautiful picture of the Lord as our shepherd in the 23rd Psalm. We also read in John 10:11 & 14, "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep... I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine."
“Let brotherly love continue." Hebrews 13:1
This is a good verse for Sunday. We should show love to our brothers and sisters in Christ. This thought is clarified even more in I John 4:19-21. "We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also." I have heard of churches that split over little things, like the color of the carpet. If we have the love of God in us, and we love one another like we should, we will not have as many problems in our churches. We should have such love in our churches that God is glorified. Can visitors feel the warmth of God's love flowing through your church when they visit?
“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.” Psalm 100:1
A visitor asked my daughter last night after church what instrument she plays, and our preacher said, "Every one she picks up." God has blessed her with great musical talent. She not only plays at church, but she spends a lot of time in her room playing and singing, just her and the Lord. I know that some people have a special musical talent and seem to be born with a song in their heart. As I read this Psalm I am also reminded of the other Psalms of David and the instruments he mentions. I think of David as shepherd, sitting on the grassy hills, playing and singing to the Lord. Even when no one is with us, we can feel the Lord's presence when we "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord." You may not have a special musical talent, but you can still lift your voice in praise to the Lord. He has been so good and deserves all the praise and glory that we can give.
“Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” John 15:3
We read in Isaiah 64:6, "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind have taken us away." When we look into God's Word and see how holy He is, we see how low and unclean we are. He has the power to show us our faults, failures and sin, through His Word. And we can only gain forgiveness and cleansing through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We can pray like David, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm 139:23-24) There is no other way of salvation and cleansing. "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost," (Titus 3:5)
“O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” Psalm 118:29
When my children were small I found that I often repeated myself to them. I would tell them something, and to help them understand or remember, I would tell them again. It seemed to help because the first time got their attention, and they listened as I said it again. Some things are repeated in the Bible and maybe God is trying to tell us to pay attention and listen. This verse, "O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever" is repeated word for word five time in the Old Testament and the message of the verse is repeated several more times. The verse is simple to understand and easy to learn. "O give thanks unto the LORD..." How often do we thank God for all his blessings to us? As I sit here tonight, it is freezing cold outside, but I have a warm home, with plenty of food, and clean clothes to wear. There are many daily essentials that we take for granted. We need to make sure we give thanks to the Lord for these blessings. "...for he is good..." We learn this simple, wonderful truth as children. "God is great, God is good, Let us thank Him for our food." Don't forget to thank God for your food each time you sit down to eat. "...for his mercy endureth for ever." We could never thank God enough for His mercy. He gave His only begotten Son to die to pay for our sins. It is only through His love and mercy that we can live eternally in heaven. When you bow down to say your prayers tonight, make sure you thank Him for bringing you through another day.
“Pray without ceasing.” I Thessalonians 5:17
I firmly believe in the power of prayer. These three words could make a difference in your daily life. "Pray without ceasing." Sometimes when problems arise people will ask me to pray for their situations, and that is good. But I think that God wants us to pray and talk with Him on a daily basis, "without ceasing". I would not like it very well if my children only came to me when they needed something from me. I like to see them and talk with them often. We should not only go to God in prayer when we have needs or wants. We can also give prayers of thanksgiving and offerings of praise. As the Son of God, Jesus spent much time in prayer while He was here on earth. We should follow His example and keep our hearts in tune with God.
“Quench not the Spirit.” I Thessalonians 5:19
The word "quench" makes me think of two things. To me, I can "quench" my thirst with a glass of water, or "get rid of" my thirst. We can also "quench" a fire by "putting it out". So, how do we quench the Spirit? Do we live in such a way that makes the Holy Spirit feel that we are trying to "get rid of" Him or "putting Him out" of our lives? The Holy Ghost is our Comforter and brings peace to our lives. Have you lost your joy and peace? One way that we quench the Spirit is found in Psalm 66:18. "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:" The New Testament also gives us guidance in Ephesians 4:30-32. "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." We read in Galatians 5 the contrasts between the lust of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit, which is "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance." (Galatians 5:22-23)
“Rejoice evermore." I Thessalonians 5:16
There are many verses about rejoicing in the Lord. Two of my favorites are Psalms 118:24, "This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it" and Philippians 4:4, "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice." We should begin each day rejoicing in the Lord for giving us another new day to walk with Him. With all the pain and suffering in the world today some may ask what we have to rejoice about. Jesus tells us in Luke 10:20 to rejoice because our names are written in heaven. Many verses throughout the Bible tell us to rejoice in our salvation, as in Habakkuk 3:18, "Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation." If we have no other reason to rejoice, we should rejoice in the assurance that Jesus saved us and has promised us eternal life. If you don't know Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, trust in Him today and you can "Rejoice evermore."
“Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing." Psalm 100:2
How do we serve the Lord? I am reminded of Nehemiah, the king's cupbearer. "And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence. Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid," (Nehemiah 2:1-2) Nehemiah had never been sad in the king's presence. How do you serve the Lord? Do you look all gloomy and sad at church. Is your mind and attitude cold and dreary in your service for the Lord? "Serve the LORD with gladness..." Smile as you greet other members and visitors at church. Let your cup run over with joy and worship the Lord with a song in your heart.
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
The book of Proverbs was written by the wisest man, King Solomon. He gathered all these Proverbs and put his thoughts in a book of instruction on wisdom and understanding. He knew the source of wisdom, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding." (Proverbs 9:9) "For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding." (Proverbs 2:6) But even King Solomon realized that there are many things in this world we don't understand. What did the wisest man do when problems arose that he didn't have answers for? He put his trust in the Lord. What can we do when we don't know which direction God is leading us? We must put our trust in the Lord. What can we do when we just don't know what to do? "Trust in the LORD" with all our heart and let Him direct our paths.
"Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul." Psalm 25:1
We have been going through the alphabet with verses to help us through the coming year. All the resolutions we made three weeks ago, may be good, but they are not our main objective. Dieting and exercising may help us become healthier but our physical strength is not as important as our spiritual well being. A clean house is not as important as clean living. Look at our verse above, "Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul." In good times and in bad times we need to look up to God. In joy and in sorrow, we can lift up our soul to the Lord. Look at the things in this chapter that David asked the Lord. "Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day." (verses 4-5) We see the state of David in verses 17-18. "The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses. Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins." Hard times and troubles may come sometime this year. Let this verse help you through those times. "Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul."
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” John 6:47
Do you know that you have everlasting life? I am afraid that there are many people, our friends and our family, who think they are going to heaven because of the good things that they do. A dear friend told me today that something she said would probably make her go to the devil. I need to tell her that there is nothing we say or do that sends us to hell. We are all born into a world of sin. In the same way, the good that we do won't get us into heaven. Someone had to take the punishment for our sin and that is why Jesus came. He came from heaven, down to this wicked world, and died on the cross to pay for our sins. He rose on the third day and has gone back to heaven to prepare a place for all who believe. We can't get to heaven by living a good life, because that is making ourselves equal to God, in saying that we can be "good enough" on our own. We must admit that we are lost sinners as we confess our sins to Jesus. We must believe that He came to pay our sin debt and that there is no other way to heaven. We must trust in Him to save us. There is no other way. What are you counting on to give you everlasting life? I hope and pray that you will see that Jesus is the only way. He has already died to save you. All you have to do is ask Him to forgive you and believe.
"What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee." Psalm 56:3
This was one of the first verses that I taught my children when they were very young. We said it like a little rhyme which made it easy for them to remember. "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. Psalm 56 verse 3" There were times in their lives when they were afraid. When they had nightmares and bad dreams I would go into their bedroom and sit with them and remind them of this verse. I would tell them that Jesus was watching over them and He would take care of them. As they got older there were other things that caused fear in their lives. Doctor visits and the first days of school can be frightening for some children. A few years ago I had to have some minor surgery done and I remember going over the 23rd Psalm in my mind and also this verse. I knew that God was with me and that helped ease my fears. Whether you are young, or older, or somewhere in between, put your trust in God and remember this verse for comfort. "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee."
“Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.” Psalm 26:2
As you can see, I don't have a verse that starts with the letter "x". This verse is as close as I can get, and it is a good verse for us to remember. David begins this chapter, "Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide." How often do we pray as David, "Judge me, O LORD... Examine me, O LORD, and prove me..."? As the Lord shows us our faults and failures we can ask His forgiveness and become a better Christian so that others will see the Light of Christ shine through our lives. When my son was in the first or second grade the children wrote in their journals everyday. So that they would not get discouraged in their writing, the teachers did not correct their spelling. When I visited the school and read his writing, I noticed that he continually spelled "with" as "wthe". This bothered me because I felt that as he repeatedly spelled it incorrectly, it was establishing it in his mind that "wthe" was the correct spelling. He did not know to correct this mistake until he was finally shown the error. We need to pray that God will show us our sin and errors so that we can ask forgiveness and work to correct our mistakes.
“Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." John 15:14
Having friends makes life much more enjoyable. It is wonderful to worship and fellowship with Christian brothers and sisters at church. It is good to have friends at school and work. The greatest friend of all time is Jesus. Let's look at this verse in its context. "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another." (John 15:12-17) We did not choose Jesus, but He chose us, and has called us "friends". And He has commanded that we love each other, just as He loves us. Oh, what a wonderful friend He is!
“...The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this." Isaiah 9:7
This is the last letter of our ABC Verses and this is actually the end of this verse in Isaiah. Let's look at the context. "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this." (Isaiah 9:6-7) There is something about people with zeal that makes you know they will succeed. I have also seen that zeal is contageous. When my daughter began writing our church Christmas play a couple of months ago her zeal spread quickly to the children she was directing and their zeal spread to their parents. They got excited about what they were doing and everything went really well. When we read our verses above, we know that the Christ Child was born in Bethlehem. He came just as promised. We can be assured that all the promises of our Lord will also come to pass. The zeal of the Lord gives us strength and hope. Now, what about you? Do you have zeal in the work you are doing for the Lord?