Today’s reading is from Acts 14:27 where Paul went to Jerusalem and shared with the church, all the great things that God was doing in his ministry as he traveled among the Gentiles preaching the Kingdom of God. It is good to review what God has done in your life every so often. You don’t want to wait until the end of your life to do this, because then it may be too late to make any changes. Paul did this every time he came back from his missionary trips. You see this again in Acts 21:19. When you take time to see what God is doing in your life, then you can rejoice and glorify God like the early church did when they heard Paul’s stories. It is healthy to rejoice in the things that God has done in your life. We are told in Nehemiah 8:10, that the joy of the Lord is your strength. Some people don’t ever stop to rejoice and give thanks. They just keep moving on to the next thing ahead of them. They are missing out on experiencing that joy of the Lord which makes us strong!
There is a delicate balance of being able to rejoice in what God has done in the past to draw encouragement from it, and living in the past and only talking about all the great things that we did. We need to draw strength and encouragement from the things God has done in our past but we cannot live in the past. We need to be able to live in the present and be able to say what God is doing with us right now. There is something very fulfilling to know that you are making a difference. To know that people’s lives are better because of what you did gives a person a sense of destiny and purpose. That is so much better than looking over your life and saying, “Well I made a lot of money last year, I bought a nice new car last year, I bought a nice new coat last year, I went on a great vacation last year, etc.” How much better to be able to say, “I was part of a move of God that actually saved people’s lives last year or I gave money to help support a move of God that caused many people to give their lives to Jesus or helped people who were really in need.” I believe being active in your local church is a great way to make sure we are living lives that are making a difference. We all have that desire to be part of something that is a little bigger than ourselves so we can corporately do something big for God, that would be very hard to do by ourselves. How was your last year 2013? What are your plans for 2014?