Lake Scugog, Christmas 2011. Scenic views of nature help me reflect on biblical ideas for my life.
Christmas and New Years week is a natural time for looking back and reflecting on 2011 as well as projecting and planning for 2012. It feels like our lives come under the microscope of analysis as we do things like see family and friends at reunions, read and make “top ten” lists and/or resolutions. At this time of year, we naturally evaluate how we used the 365 days and what look for gems of what profited us in our most valued relationships. For me 2011 was an especially steep and taxing year of growth and learning through tests and trials. I know I will learn a lot in 2012 as well, but I hope for a smoother road and protective grace to buffer my heart and mind. I’m an ironic mix of tired and enthusiastic these days. I hope and pray that 2012 to be my best year ever, personally and professionally. You probably do too. :) So, in order to fuel your seasonal reflection, here are some Bible verses that God has used this past year of 2011 to set me in the right direction of heart and mind for a fruitful 2012! Perhaps you might want to look at this list as you plan 2012. Perhaps you have some key verses from 2011 to share in the comment section. Maybe you want to memorize one of these for 2012.
In 2011, God used these verses to teach me about my calling:
Philippians 3:8 - Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.
1 Timothy 6:6 - But godliness with contentment is great gain,..
John 15:5 - I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Micah 6:8 - He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Hebrews 12:3 – Consider him (Jesus Christ) who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
4. Interpersonal Attitudes:
Colossians 3:12-13 - Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
2 Timothy 2:1-2, 22-26
1-2 You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, 2 and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
22-26 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
1 Timothy 4:15-16 - Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.
2 Corinthians 4:7-9 - But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;…
1 Corinthians 10:13 – No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
1 Timothy 6:9 – But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.
Nehemiah 8:10 - Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
9. Mindfulness and Though Life.
Romans 12:2 - Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
2 Corinthians 10:5 – We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,…
Revelation 22:3-5 - No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
My encouragement prayer for everyone of you readers in 2012 is from this verse, which has been massively encouraging to me during tough times of this year:
Colossians 1:11-12 - 11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.