A New Year, A Clean Slate

‘For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.’ — Psalm 103:11–13 NAS

Oftentimes we walk with an overwhelming amount of guilt and shame, and we underestimate the power of the work on the cross. Not that there aren’t consequences for our sin—because it does affect things, and it does impact our relationships with other people and the Lord—but it doesn’t determine how God sees us and the compassion He has for us.

David said, ‘Create in me a clean heart and renew a steadfast (or right) spirit within me.’ (Psalm 51:10 NAS) The word stead fast means to be firmly established, stable, secure, settled and set up.

The hope we have in Jesus is not only that our sins are forgiven but that we can be firmly established in Him.

We are His. He paid the price for us. Once we recognise the areas where we’ve fallen short and where we may have missed the mark or grieved the heart of God, we have an incredible gift of being set free from the weight of those things by repenting and humbling ourselves. We are able to start again with a clean slate and continue in our journey of being firmly rooted and established in Jesus.

We need to renew our hearts and minds by spending time with Him. The Scripture tells us that His mercies are new every morning. Thank you, Jesus, for this gift and for this New Year!

Latest Album: The Answer, available from jeremycamp.com

Take Care Confiding

 

‘Those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.’ Proverbs 11:13 NLT

Ever off-loaded your problems to someone, only to find everyone now knows your business? It’s not a nice feeling. When we trust someone, open up to them and allow them to see our vulnerabilities, we don’t want our secrets passed around. When that happens, it can break down relationships because we stop trusting and decide not to confide in that person—or sometimes anyone—ever again. Opening up to other people is always going to be a risk, but it’s something we should be doing. We need each other for support, advice and encouragement. So we need to make sure we’re thinking carefully about who we’re choosing to confide in. The Bible says: ‘Those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.’

It also says: ‘A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much.’ (Proverbs 20:19 NIV) We need to be on the lookout for trustworthy people who can keep what we tell them to themselves rather than telling others and spreading gossip. We also need to confide in people who we know will seek God on our behalf and who will give us wise, godly advice. There are many sources of wisdom in this world, ‘but the wisdom that is from above is… pure… peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and hypocrisy.’ (James 3:17 NKJV) So confide only in someone who walks according to the principles of God’s Word. And make sure the person you trust isn’t confiding in others you wouldn’t trust.

It’s always wise to control your mouth, your thoughts and your focus. Remember, silence can never be misquoted.

SoulFood: Ex 20:12, Jer 35:1–19, Prov 1:8, Jn 19:25–27

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2018

Today’s Readings

Exodus 20:12 (Listen)

12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

Jeremiah 35 (Listen)

35:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah: “Go to the house of the Rechabites and speak with them and bring them to the house of the LORD, into one of the chambers; then offer them wine to drink.” So I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, son of Habazziniah and his brothers and all his sons and the whole house of the Rechabites. I brought them to the house of the LORD into the chamber of the sons of Hanan the son of Igdaliah, the man of God, which was near the chamber of the officials, above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, keeper of the threshold. Then I set before the Rechabites pitchers full of wine, and cups, and I said to them, “Drink wine.” But they answered, “We will drink no wine, for Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us, ‘You shall not drink wine, neither you nor your sons forever. You shall not build a house; you shall not sow seed; you shall not plant or have a vineyard; but you shall live in tents all your days, that you may live many days in the land where you sojourn.’ We have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, in all that he commanded us, to drink no wine all our days, ourselves, our wives, our sons, or our daughters, and not to build houses to dwell in. We have no vineyard or field or seed, 10 but we have lived in tents and have obeyed and done all that Jonadab our father commanded us. 11 But when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against the land, we said, ‘Come, and let us go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans and the army of the Syrians.’ So we are living in Jerusalem.”

12 Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: 13 “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Go and say to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will you not receive instruction and listen to my words? declares the LORD. 14 The command that Jonadab the son of Rechab gave to his sons, to drink no wine, has been kept, and they drink none to this day, for they have obeyed their father's command. I have spoken to you persistently, but you have not listened to me. 15 I have sent to you all my servants the prophets, sending them persistently, saying, ‘Turn now every one of you from his evil way, and amend your deeds, and do not go after other gods to serve them, and then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to you and your fathers.’ But you did not incline your ear or listen to me. 16 The sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have kept the command that their father gave them, but this people has not obeyed me. 17 Therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing upon Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the disaster that I have pronounced against them, because I have spoken to them and they have not listened, I have called to them and they have not answered.”

18 But to the house of the Rechabites Jeremiah said, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Because you have obeyed the command of Jonadab your father and kept all his precepts and done all that he commanded you, 19 therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Jonadab the son of Rechab shall never lack a man to stand before me.”

Proverbs 1:8 (Listen)

  Hear, my son, your father's instruction,
    and forsake not your mother's teaching,

John 19:25–27 (Listen)

25 but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

Sun 04 February, 2018


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