As this year comes to a close, it’s vital that we take time to both reflect on what God has done and allow him to prepare us for what’s to come. A new year marks a fresh opportunity to center our lives around the goodness of God. I pray that as you begin looking toward what is to come you will make space to gain God’s perspective, ground your hopes and pursuits on his grace, and celebrate all that God has done and is doing. May your time with God this week be filled with the loving presence of your heavenly Father.
The story of Mary, Martha, and Jesus found in Luke 10 encapsulates God’s longing for simple, unfettered relationship with his children. As this year comes to a close I pray that this story would set a fire in our hearts to live out of unhindered union with our heavenly Father. I pray that we would seek to continually make space in our lives for the one thing that truly matters. Scripture says in Luke 10:38-42,
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
I want my life to be centered around “the good portion.” I want all my days to be marked by choosing to sit at the feet of Jesus rather than living a life based solely on works. At the end of my life, I want to look back and know that I sought relationship with my God above all else, and that I gave him my heart in and out of every season, no matter the cost.
The simple truth of Christian spirituality is that God longs to fill whatever space we make available to him with his nearness. The gift he gives us that far surpasses a spouse, a job, a family, earthly success, or financial stability is simply himself. The heartcry of our heavenly Father is simply this, “Abide in me, and I in you” (John 15:4).
What would it look like if your chief New Year’s resolution was making space for God to fill? What other desires of your heart would that take care of? How wonderful would it be to experience the transcendent peace and joy that comes from centering your life around meeting with God? How continually satisfied would you feel in consistently receiving the powerful love of your heavenly Father?
Take time today to reflect on what truly matters. Take time to choose “the good portion” that your life might be centered around he who alone has the power to truly satisfy your every longing. May your year be marked by unhindered union with the God who fills you with his greatest gift: himself.
1. Meditate on God being “the good portion.” Allow the story of Mary, Martha, and Jesus to fill you with a longing to seek relationship with God above all else.
“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.’ But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.'” Luke 10:38-42
2. Take time to make space for God to fill. Open your heart to him and center your focus on his nearness. Allow Scripture to fill you with faith to receive all he has to offer.
“Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!” 1 Chronicles 16:11
“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.” Ephesians 5:18
“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
3. Rest in the nearness of God. Cast aside all other concerns, fears, and reservations and simply be with God. He will guide you into all you need, but relationship with him should always be centered around simply sitting at his feet.
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17
“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” Psalm 139:7-10
If you center your life around abiding in God, your year will be filled with remarkable, heavenly, and eternal impact. May John 15:1-5 fill you with a desire to abide in God that all you do this year may yield lasting fruit:
I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Extended Reading: Psalm 139