“Jerusalem, stand up, shine!
Your new day is dawning.
The glory of the Lord shines brightly on you.
The earth and its people are covered with darkness,
But the glory of the Lord is shining upon you.
Nations and Kings will come to the light
of your dawning day.”
Isaiah 60: 1-3
It’s a new year and the dawning of a new beginning in so many ways. The past year was filled with many stories that we will all be telling for years to come. Some great but many sad ones. Despite whatever we endured in the last year, it's nothing compared to the greatness stored up for us in the year 2021. Our bible passage today is from the book of Isaiah. It talks about a time when God's people get to experience the glory of God in their lives again. That time is now.
If the past year left you in pits of disappointment, despair, loss, anger or fear, here is a word of promise from the Lord to you: it's time to rise and shine. This year, the Lord's glory will come over your life and will shine brightly on you and your household. Despite whatever may happen or not happen around you this year, you will experience his presence in your life.
God's light gives you direction. This year you won’t stumble or fall. The presence of the Lord will guide you and direct your ways. You will make the right decisions and will craft out the best plans for your life.
God's light gives you warmth. This year you won't feel alone. Whether you are single, married, or surrounded by family and friends, the light of God will warm your heart always. You will feel his presence all around you wherever you go and whatever you do.
God’s light shows you off. This year you won’t stay hidden. The light of God will launch you into destiny moments where you will shine brightly and bring glory to God. Whether it’s at work, or school, with your kids, or a talent you nurture, this year, God's light will launch you into greatness, and you will succeed in all you do.
As we step out in 2021 with our eyes fully set on God, drop all weights and sins that will keep you from rising this year. The light of God is shining on you no matter what, but it’s up to you to stand up and shine.
Think about a balloon. As long a weights (like heavy stones) are tied to it, it can never rise, but it rises when the weights are dropped. The fulfillment of the promises in Isaiah 60, verse 1 only happens if you drop the weights.
So what's holding you down? Weights of anger? Greed? Evil thoughts? You know those things that you do, which silences the spirit of God in you and pushes you out of God's presence. It's time to drop them all so you can rise and shine. This year make up your mind to always take the high road and stay on the path of living right with God.
While human strength cannot help you drop the weights, the spirit of God can. As you start the year, ask God in prayer for the help of his holy spirit to drop all weights and sin. And as you do, you will see the light of God shine brightly on you, and you will arise and shine.
Welcome to 2021. This year you will have new beginnings of greatness in your life as you experience God's light shine brightly on you and as he gives you something new to launch you into his planned greatness for your life. Amen.
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