How many times in our lives do we stand at a place where all things seem lost? These times of distress are inevitable and will visit all, both the weak and the mighty.

How many times in our lives do we stand at a place where all things seem lost? These times of distress are inevitable and will visit all, both the weak and the mighty.

How many times in our lives do we stand at a place where all things seem lost? These times of distress are inevitable and will visit all, both the weak and the mighty.

year with jesus


Being Humble

“All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.” 

 Matthew [23:12]

In our successes, there are usually two other forces besides ourselves who have had a hand, God, and our neighbor. Our sincere recognition of these two powerful influences is our own personal act of humility. In turn, we tell ourselves this universal truth that while we are credited with success, both externally and internally we recognize we succeeded because of God and our neighbor. A humility that recognizes we accomplish great things through God and with our neighbor. A humility that doesn’t embellish our part, but exalts those who have helped. In this recognition, we create a circle of community that invites both God and our neighbor into our lives.

Points of Reflection

  • What great events in your life involved God and a friend?
  • Why is humility a wonderful character trait?
  • When we pray, how often do we thank God and our friends?

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year with jesus

Not My Will but Yours

Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me;

yet, not my will but yours be done.

Luke [22:42]

These famous and fundamental words were spoken by Jesus in the Garden on the night before his crucifixion. A statement made in his full humanity that shows us how to serve God. Jesus wrestled with his next step in being the obedient son, knowing the turmoil that existed before him. His choice of obedience to serve, while painful, provided humanity with a life that is eternal by taking on the burden of our sins. In this act of trusting God, he gives both an example of serving God’s will and, for faithful believers, a life of continuous second chances. Doing God’s will and being a disciple doesn’t mean our answers or actions are easy; it does mean a life of faithful purpose.

Points of Reflection

  • What does it mean “to do God’s will,” and what are the challenges?
  • What are the differences in short term gains versus long term gains with God?
  • What decisions have we made that were aligned with God but created short term struggles? 

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year with jesus

A Final and Everlasting Gift

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Acts 2:1-4

On the fiftieth day after the resurrection, that Holy Spirit descended and enlightened all that were present. The Holy Spirit is still present today in all. Residing in our hearts, pointing us to a direction that is Holy and right. We find the Spirit with us when we pray. Carefully helping us mold our prayers and opening our hearts to receive God’s response. The Sprit resides within us to help steer us away from dangerous steps in life that threaten to move us from God. Like the disciples of two thousand years ago, when we are fully with the Holy Spirit, we receive great understanding. One final Gift from the Risen Christ.

Points of Reflection

  • What dangerous things has the Spirit helped you avoid?
  • Pray each day this week with the Holy Spirit and list what changed.
  • What gifts have you received that are most important to you and why?

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year with jesus

Jesus’ Gifts

“Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven.”

Luke [24:50]-51

On the fortieth day of Pentecost and after the resurrection, Jesus had gathered the believers. He blessed them and rose back to heaven, leaving behind an earthly legacy of great gifts for humankind. Through his birth, earthly mission and the resurrection he gave us many things. He absorbed our sins and redeemed the believers of humankind. He revealed God’s values to all that would hear and listen. Values centered on, “Loving God and our neighbor.” He taught that we follow the laws of God through our heart. He cured many and showed the importance of our faith in our own healing. His very presence was proof of a very present and loving God. A God that offers a life of hope through the risen Christ.

Points of Reflection

  • List three gifts that Jesus has given you.
  • How do you feel Jesus’ presence in your life?
  • What legacy and gifts would you like to give to humankind?

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year with jesus

The Holy Spirit

“Hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”

Romans 5:5

The Holy Spirit lives within our hearts. It both shows us God’s love and helps us with our lives. The Holy Spirit’s very essence is part of our being, an inheritance from God. Through our hopes and dreams, the Spirit is both part of and an advocator for their fulfillment. Understanding the Holy Spirit is a vital part of understanding Pentecost. On the fiftieth day after the resurrection, the Holy Spirit descended for all. The Spirit is our direct line to God, the single element that resides within us that is also part of God. In our lives, when our heart talks to us, we are hearing God. The Spirit within our heart knows the right and just course in our lives. Our task is to nurture and rely on this gift from God.

Points of Reflection

  • How do you feel the Holy Spirit within yourself?
  • How often do you call upon the Holy Spirit to help you with life?
  • When you pray or read the Bible, do you call upon the Holy Spirit for guidance?

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year with jesus

Jesus Asks Us to Follow Him

“As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. 19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him.”

Matthew [4:18]-20

When Jesus calls us to follow him, it means a giving up of those illusionary things that we believe gives us a purposeful life. However, in following Jesus we begin to create a purposeful life that is not illusionary. We give up things that bind us and create a false want. We give up a chasing of material things that only temporarily soothe us. We acquire a different perspective on what is important. When we follow Jesus the ways of the world dim, replaced by the truer life of being a disciple. Fear of scarcity is replaced with hope, love, and faith.

Points of Reflection

  • What limits us from following Jesus completely?
  • What changes could we make in our lives that free us to follow?
  • What is our most important possession?

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year with jesus

“Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight.”

Luke [24:31]

After the resurrection, Jesus walked to Emmaus with two disciples. Along the way, neither recognized Jesus but listened to his story. When they arrived in Emmaus, they sat down for a meal, and the risen Jesus prayed. Upon hearing the prayer, the two immediately recognized that Jesus had been with them. Jesus vanishes from their sight, but they are left as believers in the power of Jesus and the resurrection. Our lives are the same, as we journey on our way to our life’s Emmaus, we will also be visited by Jesus. Who will tell us his story? Upon our recognition, he will vanish from our earthly senses and reside in our hearts. No longer will we rely on believing in what we see, but believing in the power of the unseen.

Points of Reflection

  • Why is it hard for us to recognize Jesus?
  • What does “Faith in the unseen” mean to you?
  • Name instances in your life where Jesus was with you, but you recognized his presence after the fact.

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