Then the Lord said to Moses,â€œTell Aaron and his sons to bless the people of Israel with this special blessing:
May the Lord bless you and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.â€™
Whenever Aaron and his sons bless the people of Israel in my name, I myself will bless them.â€ Â Â Â Â Â Â Numbers 6:22-27 (NLT)
Lectionary texts for Watch Night (December 31): Numbers 6:22-27, Psalm 8, Philippians 2:5-11, Luke 2:15-21
The end of another year. Do you remember what you were thinking 12 months ago? Did you accomplish what you resolved to accomplish in 2012? More? Less?
I have made a conscious choice to end the last several years in prayer, asking God for His Spirit to come and speak to me about what opportunities He brought to me, those that I responded as He wanted and those that I did not. It has been a good conversation because it involves conviction by His Spirit, not condemnation.
This year these Scripture passages bring my mind to the name, or the character, of God. I hope that you will take the time to read these passages and also to listen to the song that is linked at the end of this devotion. It is a song that I sang many years ago in my church choir. I sang it with tears then and I listen to it now with overwhelming awe and tears again.
Whatever comes in 2013, we know that it will be about great trials and also great blessings. The mission and the road we have each been given in this life will have obstacles and potholes that will test our faith and our courage to trust our LORD. But we must remember Who it is that is with us.
Come near to God and He will come near to you. Â Â Â Â Â Â James 4:8 (NIV)
We must live in God. We must make our time with Him a priority so that we are prepared for what is to come. We do not prepare in fear but we prepare in wisdom, following the example of Jesus to be about our Father’s work and so we sit at His feet and listen and learn. When we are so steeped in God, we know His name, His character and so when we speak His name, there is power because we are known by His Spirit and speak with His Spirit.
So at the name of Jesus everyone will bow down,
those in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.
And to the glory of God the Father everyone will openly agree,
â€œJesus Christ is Lord!â€ Â Â Â Philippians 2:10-11 (CEV)
We bow down to worship our LORD. We also sit down to talk to this same LORD. And we are held and comforted by this same LORD. Will we, like the shepherds of that night long ago, tell others what we have seen? Will we speak about what we know because we have spent time in His Presence? Will the Bread of Life that we offer to others be fresh Bread? Not stale from last year but freshly given to us that very day! Will the Living Water that flows through us be clear and clean, giving all the glory and honor and praise to God?
This is a night of many celebrations. Let the first and best celebration be with Jesus. Tomorrow: His Resolutions for Me
Psalm 8: The Majesty and Glory of Your Name written by Tom Fettke & Linda Lee Johnson