As 2021 has begun with a long weekend, today is the day before the first Monday of 2021. As the work week is about to begin and my new job will start to gain momentum, understanding how it plays into God’s dream for my life comes to mind. As I reflect on the previous two days of 2021 thinking about what the One Thing is and then the call to Write it down, along with getting to be the moderator last night for the Saturday night service on being United, today I consider my role and my responsibility as I step up and step into 2021. As I even began to read a new book yesterday morning as part of my workout time In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day after having finished the second book in the series to close out 2020 Chase The Lion. 2021 is about pursuing God sized dreams, God sized visions, God sized causes for the glory of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It will encompass leading a new team towards a God sized vision. It will encompass leading a family/team of volunteers towards a God sized cause of loving and sharing God’s love with foster kids. It will encompass leading my family towards God’s vision and dreams for each of us, to some it will be a beginning, to some it will be a catalyst, and to others it will be a transition. We can take hold of the reality that God has a plan for each of us and it is for good, it is to give us a hope and a future. This year has started with an interesting dynamic and even morning plan that includes both a devotional by Zig Ziglar along with the JPS – Tanakh reading of the Old Testament. How about you? Do you understand God’s dream for your life? Will you live out your life in obedience to God’s heavenly vision for you?
The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard for January 3rd
GOD’S DREAM FOR OUR LIVES
MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: ACTS 26:19
King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision
Points from the devotional:
- I remember in my younger days having dreams of the big house, nice cars, good job, wife and kids, …
- I remember how my views and dreams adjusted after finding Jesus and getting plugged into a life where I am able to serve, to love, and to give.
- Is your dream about gaining power and influence?
- Is your dream about finding and following God’s dream for your life?
- Is your dream about self or something bigger?
- Is your dream inward focused or something bigger?
- Is your dream about being fulfilled or doing something fulfilling?
- God’s Word speaks to how we will be called before kings to give a reason for why we are living our lives like we do.
- Looking at the context of today’s memory verse we see Paul’s situation of being brought before king Agrippa to help Festus be able to write up something before sending Paul to Caesar. We see how Festus found no reason for Paul to be condemned to death and as such was seeking advice in Acts 25. We see how in Acts 26 king Agrippa gives Paul the floor to speak for himself.
- What testimony would you have to speak if and when you are called to give a reason for the hope that is within you and for the way you are living your life?
- We see how Paul starts with how his early life had been. We see how Paul then turns to the encounter with Jesus, his turning point. We see how Paul closes with how that encounter with Jesus has transformed his life.
- So if you were asked why you are following the path you are, what would you say? Would you look to present the pros and cons? Would you be able to express the God given vision you have received? Would you be able to express how that God given vision motivated you to live your life down the path you are walking in order to fulfill it?
- Have you received and accepted a God given vision that you are walking out in obedience? Will that obedience help you to get past and through the fears of life?
- Are you pursuing meaning or to be transformed by the love and power and promises of God?
- Are you willing to accept and receive a God given vision that will transform, fill, challenge, and give you purpose?
- God gave His all out of love! For God so loves the world that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish but have ever lasting life.
- So out of obedience and love, let’s give our all back to God!
- Oswald Chambers is an incredible writer and man of God who I first discovered as I was searching for devotionals associated with my role in the workplace (T.G.I.F. – Today God Is First). Today’s devotional speaks of one of His quotes.
- My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers is one of the most loved devotionals in the English language and today’s devotional take the following quote from it: “The only way to be obedient to the heavenly vision is to give our utmost for God’s highest, and this can only be done by continually and resolutely recalling the vision.“
- So we need to continuously recall God’s vision in order to remain obedient to His vision for our lives.
- Today’s devotional calls out the paradox of Christian life: “when we live unreservedly for God, we find true fulfillment ourselves.“
- Let’s decide to live out our God given dreams and visions out of love in obedience.
Discussion Topics from Today’s Devotional:
How clear is God’s dream for your life right now?
- He has given me direction towards service and generosity
- He has called me into servant leadership in order to touch and transform lives (at work, at camps, in my neighborhood, and at church)
- He has called me to be a husband and a father – that shows God’s love and generosity
- He has called me into positions of leadership and stewardship
- He has called me to step into the gap to help bring unity and hope to people who are being challenged
- He has called me to step into the gap to help bring people to a place of forgiveness
- Sometimes it takes going through the storm or the valley or the fire to be able to come out the other side equipped to help others in and through life.
Is any fear holding you back from accomplishing this dream? If so, what is it? How will you push past it?
- With everything that took place in 2020, there was some fear because of the uncertainty and activities
- With everything that took place in 2020, there was some fear because of what appeared to be tricks, traps, change
- Pressing into God allowed and enabled me to push into and push through the fear
- Stepping up and into a new position as 2021 begins brings great excitement and energy rather than fear and anxiety.
- Finding great motivation like the two Mark Batterson books about lions encouraged me and helped me to take hold of God sized dreams and causes to press onward and upward for the glory of God.
Quotes from Today’s Devotional:
Today’s reading from Tanakh:
- Genesis 5
- After Enoch lives a year of years (365 years) walking with God, he was no more for God took him up.
- Lamech begot a son and named him Noah saying “This one will provide us relief from our work and from the toil of our hands, out of the very soil which the LORD placed under a curse.”
- Genesis 6
- Lifespan was shortened to make 120 years allowed
- We learn about Nephilim
- Man had become evil and hurt/saddened the heart of God. Man’s plans were evil and their wickedness on earth was seen by God.
- Noah found favor with God. Noah was a righteous man. Noah was blameless. Noah walked with God.
- God called Noah to build an ark with a specification to help not only save him and his family but the creatures of the earth. Not only the building but also storing up all the provision that would be required for them and the animals during the flood. Noah fulfilled God’s vision just as he was directed in obedience to God.
- Genesis 7
- Noah’s family along with all the beasts and creatures entered the ark.
- They all entered male and female as God had commanded
- All existence on earth was blotted out, leaving only Noah and those with him in the ark.
Have you accepted God’s vision for your life? Have you accepted Jesus into your heart as Lord and Savior? Were are you at today? Are you looking for guidance? Are you wondering where to turn? Are you at the end of your rope and needing help? Are you ready for some help? Are you ready to turn to God and ask? seek? knock? Let’s pray together.
Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself. I confess my complete helplessness to forgive my own sin or to work my way to heaven. At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross. I believe that He did all that will ever be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence. I thank you that Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee of my own resurrection. As best as I can, I now transfer my trust to Him. I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures. Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior. Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me through the deep valley. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.—The Sinner’s Prayer
Did you pray this with me? Would you like to connect and discuss it with me? Would you like to make time to start your walk with Jesus? Do you have questions? Please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.