God is always up to something new. He’s always working, constantly creating, forever active. It’s just our job to see where God is at work and to get involved in it. So here’s the plan… We’re just going to go chronologically through the Bible reading, reflecting and praying over the verses with NEW concepts. As we prepare for our Grand Opening and for the new things God has for us in 2017, our hope is this will put us in tune with the new things He is doing in our midst. If you would like to share the NEW things you see God doing, please email us at New@RestoreTrinity.com!
“9 ‘I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you. 10 You will still be eating last year’s harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new. 11 I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. 12 I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.”
This is God’s first public covenant with His people. He’s making a promise to provide, protect and care for them. But, He’s promising to provide so much that they’ll have too much. They have to let go of something, even the good things.
For us, we sometimes get too comfortable with times things have been too good. We get hung up on moments we think couldn’t get any better. Whether it’s in your professional life, your family’s life or your own personal life we have to let go of the former things – both good and bad – in the past to see what He’s doing in the present.
Personally, this has been a struggle. Have you ever had a moment where you don’t want your kids to grow up? Have you ever had times where you think your career couldn’t get any better? Have you ever had seasons with friends, significant others or spouses that you thought you’d never top?
Those moments are good, they are important, they’re even necessary. But, you may have to set them aside to make room for what God is going to do in the next season of your life.
Pray that as you enter this new year, that we would be God’s people. Pray that we would remove the things from 2016 – the good things and the bad things – to make room for what He’s going to do in 2017.
“1 Listen, you heavens, and I will speak; hear, you earth, the words of my mouth.
2 Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew,
like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.”
In this verse, God is speaking. We often think of God’s words as something old, something static or stagnant. But, God is saying that He will speak if we will listen and what we’ll hear is something NEW, not something old, something fresh, not something stagnant, something that changes us if we allow it to.
In college, I had to take a class on meditation. In that class, I learned that prayer is not designed to be a one-sided monolog. Prayer is a two-way conversation. The problem is, we often do some fast talking and leave the conversation without listening. Today, let’s listen…
Set aside time today to simply speak to God. Pray that He would speak to you. Then take time (even just 5 minutes) to sit and listen for His words.
“5 As soon as the order went out, the Israelites generously gave the firstfruits of their grain, new wine, olive oil and honey and all that the fields produced. They brought a great amount, a tithe of everything.”
Here we see the Israelites first giving their tithe. A tithe is simply giving back 10%. If you grew up in church, you may know the concept of the tithe, where we give 10% financially.
For most of us, 10% is negotiable. It’s the bottom of the barrel. If there’s something left after we’ve used up what we want, we’ll give it, but if we’ve used all of it, that’s too bad.
But, notice in this story, they’re not giving back their last 10%. They aren’t waiting to see what’s left over. They are giving their firstfruits. The first of what they have. They begin by giving back.
This isn’t just a financial principle. This is also our time and our energy. Today, don’t set aside the last 10% of your day to give to God or the last 10% of what you have. Today, think about giving Him the first 10%. Begin with Him in mind as you begin a new day.
Today, pray that you would give God the best of what you have this year, not the leftovers. Pray over your priorities and realign them around Him rather than yourself. See what that changes.
“2 Praise the Lord with the harp;
make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. 3 Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy.”
David loves new songs. Many psalms were just new songs about singing other new songs. He really wanted to sing some new songs. While there is meaning to traditional words, there is also room for new words and new expressions.
Today, as you pray, try to think of new words, new ways to express yourself to God. These songs were David’s way of telling others about what God has done. It’s a bold way to evangelize, right? It’s probably not the best way for most of us. But, today, think of new words and new ways you can tell others about what God has done in your life.
“1 I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.”
I once met a guy named Head. Head was the lead guitarist for the metal band KORN. We had an awkward interaction that led to him taking his shirt off in front of me (another story for another time). Anyways, he was covered from head to toe in tattoos. He decided this was the right time to explain a few of them. One of them was in his armpit. Yes, he had a tattoo in his armpit. The tattoo said Psalm 40:2 “He lifted me out of the slimy pit…” Then he looked at me and pointed to the pit-tattoo and said, “Because that’s my slimy pit.”
If you’re like me, this first line is a lie; I waited [patiently] on the Lord. We usually wait because we are forced to. He’s kind of got the upper hand. But, how often do we really wait patiently on the Lord?
When we do, he gives us a new song, usually because we’ve learned something new in our times of waiting. We’ve come out of the waiting with a new perspective, a new attitude, a new outlook. Today, if you’re waiting on something from God pray for Him to reveal what new thing he’s teaching you. If you’ve been through a waiting period, pray about how you can share this new outlook with someone else who may be in the same place you now that you were then.
By the way, Head is a guy with a new song. His life is changed.
If you’ve been through a waiting period, pray about how you can share this new outlook with someone else who may be in the same place you now that you were then.
“9 What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which one can say,
“Look! This is something new”?
It was here already, long ago;
it was here before our time.”
Alright, so this verse is where the whole idea of NEW breaks down, huh? Solomon is the wisest man in the Bible. How do you argue with that? While he’s known for wisdom, but in Ecclesiastes, it’s like he’s having a really bad day (or like he was born to be in a 90’s emo band). In this, He tells us that wisdom is meaningless, love is meaningless and that even life is meaningless. It’s pretty uplifting.
Truth is, I don’t disagree with his stance. Outside of relationship with the Creator, there is nothing to create. When we align ourselves with our Creator, though, we begin to see His inherent creativity in His creation and in ourselves.
Today, as you pray, pray for a new look at His creation. Pray that you’d see new people. That’d you’d see them in a new way. That you’d live life in a new way, beyond just the same old, same old. That you’d live a new, daring life.