This is a new year. Suyts space is going to do something new to mark the new year. No, I’m not changing anything, I’m adding something. As most readers know, I’m a Christian. Still, I typically write about secular things. I will continue to do so. But, it occurs to me that sometimes, there may be more required of me than what we offer here. No shocker there, I’ve been inadequate in times past. So, I call in the Calvary!
Please allow me to introduce you to Jeanette Andrade. She’s written a daily devotional book. I will be reproducing this as a daily post. The purpose of this is to give us something positive to think about. While I’m very happy with this blog, with the topics covered, it is very easy to lose sight of what is important. This will be a nice short daily reminder of what is important.
She gives a listing of daily Scriptural reading and then she writes her thoughts. I won’t always simply copy and paste from this to our blog. Sometimes, I’ll post the text of the scripture and the thoughts. Other times, just the scripture, other times, still, I may add my thoughts. For today, I’ll introduce Jeanette, post, in it’s entirety her daily devotional, and the scripture. And her preface to start. I promise more brevity in the future posts.
All people are welcome to comment. However, there will be stricter efforts to keep the comments topical and relevant. I understand there are many denominations represented on this blog. We can discuss denominational differences, as long as it doesn’t devolve into ‘right/wrong’ arguments. Let’s do our best not to be stumbling blocks. When I do reproduce the Scripture, I’ll typically use the new KJV. I understand there are other interpretations. If there is a significant difference in the translation which the reader uses, we can discuss that as well. …… as long as the discussion doesn’t devolve into a ‘right/wrong’ argument. Jeanette’s doctrinal views are not necessarily mine. It’s okay to disagree with her.
Everything is in her original form, except, I’ll first post the scripture she’s referenced. Below this sentence are Jeanette’s.
Guest Post by Jeanette Andrade.
As the finishing touches are being added to this writing, I cannot help but be grateful. I’m so thankful to God, of course, for leading me and directing me through this entire project; it simply could not have been done without Him. And so it is to Him, my Lord, to Whom I humbly and gratefully dedicate this book. The experience of writing it has revealed more about Him than I ever knew.
I also profusely thank my husband for supporting me in so many ways through these years as I carried around this project like a baby almost everywhere we went. Friends, family, and even my students were of great encouragement to me, as well, for which I am eternally appreciative.
As I write my final thoughts, I wish to also offer this book in loving memory of my earthly father, James Earl Sexton, who crossed over to the other side just recently. Without even knowing it, he was a vital contributor to this project as he instilled in me early in my childhood the value of the written word—both God’s and man’s—and the compelling desire to put everything down in writing. “I’ll see you on the other side, Dad.”
This all started a few years ago (in 2003, I think), when I decided for the New Year to read in order a chapter in the Psalms, one in Proverbs, and a scripture from the New Testament each day. I quickly observed common themes and correlations between certain verses in the daily selections and decided to compile those related scriptures, keeping track of the New Testament verses in and effort to avoid using them more than once, though I did allow for some “over-lapping.” By the time I was done, there was a good overview and sampling from ever book of the New Testament, and every chapter of the Psalms and Proverbs.
Next, I began writing daily commentaries for the selected texts in the most informal and familiar tone, as if I were directing the devotionals to myself and my closest friends, in most cases.
I have deliberately avoided adding supplementary scriptures, opting for brevity (though there were times I couldn’t resist!). However, space under the sub-heading “Digging Deeper” was provided for the reader to add texts that support the subject of the day. The reader is also encouraged to write a positive confession of faith on the lines provided to make it personally applicable, and his own thoughts on the subject under “Getting Personal.”
You may notice that some of my sentences are practically straight out of the Word of God. That’s because I have hidden the Word in my heart, and that is what comes out, just as many believers “own” the Scriptures by quoting them in everyday conversation and prayer. It is not an attempt to plagiarize; if I put quotation marks around every word, phrase, or sentence taken from the Bible, a great portion of this work would have them. Please afford me this luxury.
I trust that these devotionals serve as a blessing to many and bring special messages by the Holy Spirit to people’s hearts at the opportune time.
1 Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Off to a Great Start January 1
Scripture Selection: Ps. 1:2, 3; Prov. 1:7a, 33; Mat. 6:33
Food for Thought (meditate on this): Psalm 1:3
I know, I know, New Year’s resolutions come and go, most of them fading away within days. I can think of several of mine through the years that have flopped: exercise more, read more books, etc. But there truly is no better way to begin the New Year than to purpose in the heart to put God and His Word first. Really, that’s not just a New Year’s resolution; it is a successful believer’s way of life.
I want to grow in Him and achieve great things for His Kingdom. And His Word promises that if I focus on the Lord God and His Word in everything I do, then I will bear fruit and prosper, everything else will be added to me, and I will dwell safely and be at peace. After all, isn’t that what everyone desires?
So today, I make the quality decision that my life is and will be in Him and in His Word. I determine to make a special effort to spend time with God on a daily basis at a specific time and place and walk and talk with Him throughout the day. His Word is true, and He is faithful. What a promising, blessed year awaits me—and you!
Digging Deeper: ________________________________________________________________
Getting Personal: ________________________________________________________________
Confession of Faith: ________________________________________________________________
Important Events on This Day (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.): ________________________________________________________________