Archive for January, 2013

The First Color for 2013

The Herald News, January 2, 2012

“Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

Happy New Year and post-Christmas. Has your holiday cheer included gifts of clothing based upon your size in 2012 that don’t fit (often)—or has someone given you a diet book (cruel)? Well, now it’s resolution time.

This first week of the new year we remember our waistlines, bills, and upcoming blood test after four food-centered holidays. You know: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day—and unless you were already worn out from the other celebrations and couldn’t stay up, New Year’s Eve. We need strength and resolve to undo the bills and bulge.

More seriously, this year in a fresh way I invite you to resolve with me to seek first and primarily and fervently the delight of the Lord. From that foundation will flow ideas, priorities, and strategies.

In context, Psalm 37 has a helpful palette of action words that reinforce each other and zero in on this theme: trust in God alone and don’t live life the way the godless do who don’t acknowledge Him. I am reviewing these helps I circled long ago from there: fearlessness, trust/faith, commitment, stillness, ceasing, departing, and waiting. A wonderful study every time!

Recently, I heard an interview with a famous Christian pastor by someone with opposite views and clear biases about almost everything. After gently, courageously attempting to draw attention to Scriptural, Christ-centered answers, and at a point when the heat was rising, the pastor brought the discussion to a head by noting they had different worldviews. A disciple of Christ who longs to follow well and finish strong approaches the new year completely differently than those that follow the world. Psalm 37 vividly presents the contrasts.

I am not a painter but would like to be. It probably isn’t in the DNA, but I am still drawn to it. I once took a one-day painting class and in three hours a patient instructor-artist-drill sergeant-mother took a room full of adult juvenile paint-by-number devotees to a completed painting we could take home. My wife was in shock.

The first strokes that morning came when we covered the canvas with a foundation color. Still wet throughout the session, that color became the influencing, infiltrating color for every shape and color. The palette would include many shapes and other colors, but they were only successful with the necessary foundation.

My desire for you and me in 2013 is for the foundation color of our lives—Jesus Christ—to be our deepest desire and pursuit. What will it take to see Him? I suggest starting with Psalm 37 and praying it for ourselves. Next time, we will explore some other colors for painting the will of God in 2013.

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