We sat over our steaming mugs, grateful for the opportunity for uninterrupted conversation. It was of deep things – of how to guide our tiny family, of how to live in this world but not be a part of it, of how and where to give, and of what the future might hold.
The heart of our discussion was how to practically live out James 1:27.
Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for widows and orphans in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
We had some ideas and they were surprisingly similar. God was moving us to the same place. We talked of financially supporting an orphanage. But where and how? Not sure of the next step, but grateful for the unity, we drained our cups and headed home.
God answered the very next day through an email from a friend – a friend who thought we might be interested in reading about an orphanage in Ecuador, so she sent us their newsletter. Certain this was God’s direction, we poured over the newsletter and their website.
And so we started giving to care for orphans in their distress.
We started giving to gain pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father.
We started giving out of love and obedience.
This time of year, I like to get alone before God and ask Him what the next year holds. I love the idea of a fresh start, a clean slate, and the endless possibilities of a new year. What could 2011 hold for you and me?
What does God want from us? What does He desire to teach us? How will the path of our lives wander through valleys and climb mountaintops?
The past year was most likely filled with a mixture of joy and sorrow for you, just like it was for me. Life is rarely consistent. But God tells us to forget what is behind, for He is about to do a new thing.
But forget all that – it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
Isaiah 43:18-19 (NLT)
God wants to do something new in our lives in 2011.
Our family is confident the next year will be focused on James 1:27 – our theme verse for 2011. How that will look and where that we take us, we have no idea. We are looking forward to finding out!
Have you considered a theme verse for your family for the new year?