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Revival, Wisdom, Gladness, and Enlightenment

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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The LORD’s instruction is perfect, reviving one’s very being. The LORD’s laws are faithful, making naive people wise. The LORD’s regulations are right, gladdening the heart. The LORD’s commands are pure, giving light to the eyes. (CEB)

As I begin my fifth year writing the Daily Reflections, I want to share with you a little about their purpose and how you can help them achieve this purpose. If you’ve been receiving the Reflections for a while, you may recall that I do this sort of thing periodically, especially at the beginning of a new year.

One of my greatest privileges and joys in life is writing the Daily Reflections. I love being able to study and reflect upon God’s Word and then share with you what I’ve discovered. I am encouraged when I receive your questions, comments, and words of appreciation. Though I know personally perhaps less than 5% of the 16,000 plus people who receive the Reflections each day, I feel as if we are a fellowship of people seeking to grow together in Christ.

Psalm 19:7-8 wonderfully captures the purpose of the Daily Reflections. These devotional writings are meant to revive our very being, to make us wise, to gladden our hearts, and to give light so we might walk faithfully along God’s path. In sum, the Daily Reflections, because they are based on God’s word, are meant to offer revival, wisdom, gladness, and enlightenment. Regular reading of, meditation 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 embrace your high calling to live each moment for God and his kingdom in all the contexts of your life: at work and at home, with your colleagues and with your friends, as you shop and as you relax, in your community and in your church.

Practical Things to Know About the Daily Reflections

If you're new to the Daily Reflections, and we were delighted to welcome 3,229 new subscribers in 2011, you might appreciate a brief explanation of how I choose the biblical passages each day. My 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, Leviticus, and Luke. Lamentations and Ezekiel are up next. 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 follow an appropriate theme (hope in Advent or repentance in Lent, for example).

No matter the section of the Bible that I'm studying, each day will include a longer biblical passage and a short excerpt, a few paragraphs of biblical exposition, some questions for further reflection, and a model prayer. You can read the whole reflection in five minutes or less. Or, if you prefer, you can spend more time by reading the whole biblical passage on which the reflection is based and considering the questions at length. 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 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 specificity in prayer and intimacy with God by my own example.

As we begin a new year of Daily Reflections, I invite you to join me as we seek to know the Lord more deeply, to love him more truly, and to serve him more faithfully.

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 2012?

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 each day well.

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.

Along 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 these Daily Reflections glorify you and contribute to your kingdom work in this world. Amen.

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