The new year is sneaking up on us and, if we're honest, we don’t have it together. So, here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to offer some ideas on how to walk out the next year with intentionality in a very corny way. BUT, I’ll bet we remember it! Ready?
Let’s start here with this Bible verse:
“The Lord your God wins victory after victory and is always with you. He celebrates and sings because of you, and he will refresh your life with his love.”
-Zephaniah 3:17 (CEV)¹
The context of this verse is God rejoicing over the restoration of His people. We are now grafted into the family of God because of Jesus. When we turn toward Him, I imagine He celebrates over us like He did over Israel. We bring Him so much joy that He sings! He will “refresh your life with his love.”
So, let’s discover how to live with intentionality in the upcoming year using REFRESH as an acronym. Ready?
This is an excerpt from "This Will Be a Sign to You" , December 18.
“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
-Colossians 1:16-17, NIV
God isn’t Santa, He’s sovereign. But, we like to imagine Him as Santa. We desperately seek happiness and fulfillment. So, when something seems bad or a negative emotion arises, we try to run from it. Basically, the rule is this: If it’s bad it’s Satan. If it’s good it’s God/Santa.
The reality is that bad things can happen and God can still be working them out for our good...
This is an excerpt from "This Will Be a Sign to You" , December 15.
"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."
-Philippians 4:19, NIV
I know. I know. I know. It seems impossible during the holidays. But, resist the rush. If I can do it, you can do it.
As a recovering people pleaser, busy body, and control freak, “letting go and letting God” has been the absolute hardest thing for me. My tendency is to bust down doors instead of waiting for God to open them. It makes more sense to rush instead of rest.
Really, this is a sin- gluttony. This is desiring it all more than longing for God. This is wanting Christmas to be on our terms rather than the way Jesus designed it.
So, what is the true intent behind this season?
This is an excerpt from "This Will Be a Sign to You" , December 2.
“And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.”
-Luke 2:7, NIV
There are several people mentioned in the Bible who completely missed out on the miracle of Jesus’ birth.
Let’s start with the owner of the home Mary and Joseph stopped by while she was in labor. Jesus literally could have been born in his house and, because it was presumably already full, Mr. Homeowner sent them to the barn instead. Then there’s King Herod who, upon hearing a religious king was born, felt jealous instead of joyous and wiped out every boy baby in order to eliminate any perceived threat to his throne. This last one is the real shocker. The high priests and religious experts even missed God coming to earth. Despite knowing all the scriptures, prophecies, and exactly where Christ was to be born, they never even went to see if He had arrived.
Who didn’t miss Jesus?
Kaley Rivera Thompson is an author, copywriter, public speaker, and musician. She serves as the Director of Communications and Donor Relations for the student sports-centric nonprofit she and her husband, Gage, run called Twelve. When she's not championing other women, cheering on the rising generation, writing or playing her guitar, Kaley loves to sip strong coffee, go on hikes, or take a day trip to the mountains with her family. She takes the most pride in being a mom to two little girls, Lina and Lili. You can follow her on instagram at @kriverathompson or find out more on her website at kriverathompson.com.