A quick encouragement for December…

As we’re heading into the last month of the year, I am truly filled with hungry anticipation, for not only the celebration of Christmas, but also for God’s preparations for 2021.

As many of you know, the Lord gave us a strong Word over 2020—that this would be the “Year of Restoration.”  And I can certainly testify; it has been that!  God has made use of the chaos of 2020 (or perhaps even more years than that) to draw out of us what may have been lost through the natural attrition of time.

In my own experience, I have found healing beyond my physical body. I have discovered new boldness and courage for the call upon my life and ministry. And, I have seen my faith find new heights of trust in the goodness of God manifested.

It’s been a powerfully rejuvenating year for me.

My prayer for you is that you too would find the silver lining of God’s work through the fabric of this year’s arduous process.  Trust God!  He will always see His Word fulfilled as we believe Him more than in the boundaries of our circumstances.

This year, God has certainly tested our resolve to believe the Gospel of His love and reign more than in what the world is telling us.

So, to help you end the year well, I would like to give you 5 Ways to Embrace Restoration before we head into 2021.  Don’t just hand over your days to the distresses of COVID-19 or cultural chaos; let’s make the most of this final month of the year.

#1—Focus on identity more than a nostalgic past or dreamy future.

It’s easy to make the mistake of thinking that restoration has something to do with the best of the past or the greatest hopes of the future.

Understand that in the clash of the Kingdoms all of hell works to steal your identity, BUT all of heaven seeks to restore it—the best version of you—freed from the imposed marring of this life.

Stir-up excitement for an identity that doesn’t fully exist yet.  In Christ, the Spirit of God is working hard to translate what God has always hoped to bring through your life.

Believe it; and watch the obstacles begin to move out of the way.

#2—Step INTO restoration.

All things kingdom come by faith.  You have to believe more in where you’re going than where you long to retreat.  Your best life is available, right now, as you step into the unknown.  Only when we act on every vision of God do we actually give God the opportunity to lead us into every promise.

I know this can be scary.  I’m a little bit scared too.  But, I would rather risk a little bit now than keep the status quo on past depression.

#3—Forgive quickly.

Nothing will hold you back more than an offense.  It will consume you.  It will anchor you.  Unless you let go of what you believe has permanently hurt and disabled you, you will continue to give more power to your past than the promises of God for the future.

Trust in hope not in how you feel.  We live in a culture dominated by emotion.  That’s why we see such mind-bending dysfunction.

Be part of God’s solution—be people who move by faith and vision rather than remain bound to their broken heart.

#4—Move prayer up on the priority list.

Prayer is the one thing that pierces the veil into the realm of God’s vision.  It’s the place of renewal—it opens our heart to the possibilities as we believe what God reveals more than what our past declares.

Pray and you will always find the reason to move.

This is a great time to make prayer the priority of your day as you hope for the best in 2021.

#5—Embrace yourself.

This may be kind of cliché, but, if you don’t like yourself, how will you enjoy what’s been given to you to give to life?

God knew what He was doing when He made you.  You are perfect in His eyes.  Get your eyes off of what others possess, and make the most of what God has placed in your hands.  You have everything, right now, to complete your story in this life…and really for all eternity.

Merry Christmas to you all! May the blessings of this season jettison you into a brand new year of possibilities!

15 Comments

  1. This makes 2021 exciting. 2020 revealed how much I was battling myself which has held me captive. The real surrender to The Lord, and what Jesus did on the cross; has been eye opening to me and frees me to desire Kingdom culture. I am beginning to speak with confidence what the Lord has done and is doing to me. Learning to be bold when opportunity cross my path to reach out to others. It is faith, especially in what I don’t see or understand that keeps me encouraged, TO LOVE OTHERS!!
    Thank you Pastor Jim! When I ask myself why am I in Tacoma, immediately Zion’s River is the answer. I look forward to learning to live as I believe. 2021 will be a year of living in power….in Jesus’ name amen. First step of obedience will be tithing.
    Love!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Pastor Jim, for those kind words. My walk with JESUS is I owe to YOU & your wife. You showed me the TRUTH and GLORY. An how to rest in WORD.
        For that I am, finally at peace in my soul.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Restoration is work. I think we all hoped it would just simply happen – TA DA! I’m restored! But, we are discovering it takes engagement and purposed action to bring about the Kingdom of the Lord in and through us! Are we up for the challenge? I believe we are – let’s finish strong, church!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank You Pastor for giving us a lil som som from Heaven each week in your devotions and Sunday messages. It has sustained me throughout the year, especially while isolated from my biological and church family at the start of this pandemic shutdown in March. I stepped out in faith and purchased a laptop so I could Zoom in on God’s Word and connect with my people in C-Group. In case you didn’t know, the anointing of the Holy Spirit travels through the airwaves and gives power to people willing to receive it. Just keeping it real. God’s teaching through you has given me a crystal clear view of my place in this world and I am loving what He is doing through my love of people and my love language of food. I pray He continues to feed you and Pastor Lorelei with His powerful Word and renews His love and favor on your lives and that of every member of your family. I truly love you guys.

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  4. Pastor Jim, Thank you for keeping us focused and propelled all at the same time! As I reflect on the things I have witnessed in 2020, my focus is extensively seeing the Goodness of God through His restorative work completed at the Cross through the lives of those my journey crosses with (and my own life). I am encouraged that all we endure is far more than our little imaginations can grasp in it’s dimly lit view when it’s actually some ginormous proportions we will likely never know. My heart is set to be attentive to that which is being taught and released, pondered before our Lord, and quick in action to the FIRE being deposited and the call of action as reveled. BOLDNESS, COURAGE, REVELATION, POWER IS INCREASING ACROSS THIS LAND!
    Thank you for the leading!

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