January 1 Devotional

Come to Stillness: Take a few minutes to allow your mind and heart to be still before God.

Opening Prayer: Almighty God, who came to us long ago in the birth of Jesus Christ, be born in us anew today by the power of your Holy Spirit. We offer our lives as home to you and ask for grace and strength to live as your faithful, joyful children always. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants)

Scripture Reading for the Day: Psalm 131:1-3

Reading for Reflection: I think I might adopt Psalm 131 as my prayer for the New Year because it reminds me of what is really important and what God seems to desire as far as my outlook and my attitude are concerned. All of which is the polar opposite of everything the culture and the world encourage me to pursue. In a culture that says, “Make a name for yourself, achieve, perform, jockey for position, be ambitious, accomplish much!” this perspective can seem odd, if not diametrically opposed. Can you imagine someone asking about your goals for the New Year, or about what your New Year’s resolutions are, and telling them, “Well, I’m trying to keep my heart from being too high or proud. I’m trying not to get too full of myself. And I’m going to try not to be lifted up in my own eyes, or the eyes of those around me. I’m actually kind of hoping that I become smaller, less significant, and less visible. I want to stay out of the limelight and be about the things that no one ever really sees. I want to make sure that I don’t occupy myself- my heart, mind, and soul- with things that are simply too great and marvelous for me. I’m actually kind of hoping that my soul will be stilled, calmed and quieted, like a weaned child with its mother - totally content just to be, totally dependent on God and His great care and affection. I really just want to be held by Him and loved by Him. I don’t want to put my hope in what I do or what I achieve or what I accomplish. I don’t want to put my confidence in my own gifts, abilities, and efforts. I want to put my hope totally in the Lord, both now and forevermore.” What kind of response do you think that line of thinking would get?

But that is what I long for, and more importantly what I think God longs for in me. Just to be His. Not to be heroic, or epic, or wonderful, or legendary. Not to be popular, or admired, or successful, or productive. But to be simply His, and to be loved, and to be obedient, and let everything else take care of itself. Happy New Year.

Reflection and Listening: silent and written

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Carlos and Sandy Rios are planting Rivers of Grace Bible Church in the San Andres area of Guadalajara, Mexico. The church is growing and many new families have begun attending. Pray today for their discipleship times with family groups to be fruitful and that the families may apply what they learn to grow in Jesus.

The focus of Global Golf (formerly WPGF) is to serve women at all levels of competitive golf - professional tour players, college athletes, coaches and club pros - and introduce them to Jesus Christ through long-term relationships built around golf. Evangelism, discipleship and pastoral care are Global Golf’s primary purposes. Pray for director Cris Stevens.

Closing Prayer: God, I’m not trying to rule the roost, I don’t want to be king of the mountain. I haven’t meddled where I have no business or fantasized grandiose plans. I’ve kept my feet on the ground, I’ve cultivated a quiet heart. Like a baby content in its mother’s arms, my soul is a baby content. Wait, Israel, for God. Wait with hope. Hope now; hope always! (Psalm 131, The Message)