The Daily Reflections: Their Purpose and How You Can HelpDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
The instructions of the LORD are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The commandments of the LORD are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are clear, giving insight for living.
At the beginning of each calendar year, I like to devote one day's reflection to a discussion of the purpose of the Daily Reflections. Not only might this conversation help you as you use the reflections, but it might also give you a vision for helping us fulfill the mission God has put before us. (I use the word "us" by the way, not as some sort of royal plural, but to include the team of people who make the Daily Reflections possible, those who help me with editing, production, programming, etc. I am blessed to have wonderful colleagues whose expertise helps me focus on the content.)
The Purpose of the Daily Reflections
Psalm 19:7-8 epitomizes the purpose of the Daily Reflections. These devotional writings are meant to revive souls, make wise the simple, bring joy to the heart, and give insight for daily living. Regular reading of, reflection upon, and praying in response to Scripture will help us know God more truly and intimately, thus renewing us and giving us new vision for life. God's Word also reveals basic values and guidance for living, thus enabling us to live purposefully and fruitfully. My colleagues and I pray that the Daily Reflections will indeed help you to embrace your high calling to live each moment for God and his kingdom.
Explaining a Few Essentials of the Daily Reflections
If you're new to the Daily Reflections, and we were delighted to welcome 4,171 new subscribers in 2010, you might appreciate a brief explanation of how I choose the biblical passages each day. Our ultimate goal is to work systematically through the entire Bible, passage by passage. I am not going straight through from Genesis to Revelation, however. Rather, taking a book at a time, I move from the Old Testament to the New Testament and back, varying the literary genres. So far, I have covered Genesis, Matthew, Isaiah, Romans, Exodus, Mark, Jeremiah, 1 Corinthians, and Leviticus. I've just begun working on the Gospel of Luke. On the weekends, the Daily Reflections are based on the Psalms. Thus, we pray through the entire Psalter once every year and a half (or so). In certain seasons of the Christian year, the reflections might follow an appropriate theme (hope in Advent, for example).
No matter the section of the Bible that I'm studying, each day will offer a biblical passage and a short excerpt, a few paragraphs of exposition, some questions for further reflection, and a model prayer. You can read the whole reflection in about five minutes. Or you can spend more time by reading the whole biblical passage on which the reflection is based and considering the additional questions. I conclude each reflection by sharing with you one of my personal prayers. Thus, sometimes they include supplications that fit my particular situation in life, such as "Help me to be a better father." I realize that not everyone who receives the reflections will pray in just this way. But all of us can pray for God's help in our relationships with family members. I'm hoping to model intimacy with God by my own example.
How You Can Help
Of course, the most vital way you can help us fulfill the purpose of the Daily Reflections is by using them to grow in your relationship with God. But, if you find them to be a valuable resource, you might also help us by telling others about them. Many of our readers use the "Send to a friend" link to forward reflections to friends or family members. Some churches and parachurch organizations link to The High Calling and encourage their members to sign up for the Daily Reflections. I would ask simply that you let folks know about this resource when it seems appropriate.
You can also help by praying for me, that I will be faithful to God's Word as I study, pray, and write, and that I will be wise in the connections I make between biblical truth and our lives today. I am continually thankful for the privilege of writing the reflections and working for a ministry that values this endeavor enough to make it part of my job. It is one way that Foundations for Laity Renewal, the parent organization of The High Calling and Laity Lodge, fulfills our core purpose: To serve God by creating opportunities for people to encounter God for the transformation of daily life, work, and our world.
May you have a blessed new year of growth in the love and grace of our triune God!
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: How has regular reflection upon God's Word enriched and deepened your faith? Are there some specific ways you would like to grow in 2011? Can you think of anyone in your life who might benefit from knowing about the Daily Reflections?
PRAYER: Thank you, gracious God, for your truth revealed in Scripture. Thank you for how it revives our souls and makes us wise. Thank you for how your Word delights us and helps us to live well each day.
Help me, dear Lord, to be immersed in your Word each day. May it shape my thinking and my feeling, my dreams and my actions. May it draw me into a deeper relationship with you and help me to live as your disciple in every facet of my life.
With the friends who receive these reflections, I ask, dear Lord, that you guide me by your Spirit. Help me to discern and speak the truth. May I be faithful to your Word in all that I write. And may I be led by you to address the issues and concerns of my fellow "reflectors." May the Daily Reflections glorify you and contribute to your kingdom work in this world.
I pray in the name of Jesus, my Lord and Savior. Amen.