January is a time for New Beginnings: new year, new choices, new birthdays, and new resolutions to name a few. For me, one of my goals this January has been to read my Bible more, but sadly to say, some days life just gets in the way. So I've been listening to the Bible on my iPhone app, which makes it a lot more do-able.
While listening and reading through Exodus, it got me thinking about New Beginnings, more specifically about Israel's New Beginning. God wanted to make a new covenant with Israel after delivering them out of the land of Egypt, by making them His chosen people, and leading Israel to a land flowing with milk and honey, where they could worship and serve the Lord fully and whole-heartedly.
But sadly, even though God departed the Red Sea in half, spoke directly from the top of the Mount Sinai, and performed numerous miracles, we still see the Israelites take things into their own hands, murmur against God, and end up paying for their choice by wandering in the wilderness for forty years.
In Deuteronomy, we see a merciful God who has a plan for Israel's redemption and a direct path for The Promised Land. But, the Israelites could either continue to rebel against God or decide to trust God's leadership.
What a great lesson for us today! When we take a personal inventory of our own lives, we too probably will find those times when we have chosen our own path instead of God's way. We wandered in our own wilderness, so to speak, for awhile. Then one day, we are awakened spiritually. Although we may have rebelled, we discover the Lord is giving us another opportunity to turn towards Him. . . to make a New Beginning.
For Israel, the choice was clear, but very few chose God's law and many neglected His authority. Sadly, of the thousands of Israelites brought out of Egypt, only Joshua and Caleb entered Canaan, The Promised Land.
I love the encouraging verse in 2 Corinthians 5:17 - "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
Just like with the Israelites, God gives us a choice to make a New Beginning. But do we trust Him fully and whole-heartedly, or do we murmur and question His leadership? Do we rely on His promise, or do we continue to wonder in our own spiritual wilderness?
Just like with Israel, the choice is still clear for us today - a New Beginning in Christ where the old has gone, and the new has come, is the only one that will ever lead us to The Promised Land.
Some New Beginnings for us this January - started with the dedication of our youngest niece:
(the very beautiful) Andreea to the Lord.
With my parents, sisters and brothers-in-law at Maranatha Church in Phoenix, Arizona before the dedication.
Fratii Pal praising the Lord.
With Joey on the drums.
Rachel and her cousins after the church service.
My husband and I at Red Robin after Andreea's dedication.
David and uncle Nate.
And somewhere in between I made a 50th birthday cake for my sister-in-law.
And also celebrated Alyssa's (my beautiful niece's) 7th birthday.
It sure was a January to Remember filled with many blessings and New Beginnings!