Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Standing At The Portal Of The Opening Year"1 (Lyrics)
Last New Year's Day, I received by email a New Year's poem written by Frances Ridley Havergal 140 years ago. With research, I found that it may be sung to the tune used for the hymn, "The Church's one foundation".
- Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
In working or in waiting, another year with Thee.
Another year of progress, another year of praise,
Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.
Another year of mercies, of faithfulness and grace,
Another year of gladness in the shining of Thy face;
Another year of leaning upon Thy loving breast;
Another year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest.
Another year of service, of witness for Thy love,
Another year of training for holier work above.
Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
On earth, or else in heaven, another year for Thee.
What Havergal expressed in her poem fit my sentiment for the new year, and one phrase, "witness for Thy love", jumped into my consciousness right off the computer screen as an answer to prayer.
During the month prior to Christmas, I had sensed an intuitive Holy Spirit "nudge" which seemed to communicate, "Pay attention!" I had been waiting for an answer to my question in response: "How do You want me to pay attention to You, Lord?"
The phrase "witness for Thy love" summed up the list of things for my attention and the best ways to serve the Lord: to praise Him; to cultivate a sense of His presence, mercies, grace, and faithfulness; to respond to life with joy, trust, and happy, quiet rest; and to stay curious about the next new or wonderful revelation coming through the Holy Spirit.
Many of my prayers since New Year's Day have been, "Lord, show me Your love here." Each time, I have seen, felt, heard, tasted, or smelled an answer. I have received more hugs, heard more affirming words, noticed more fresh flowers, found more that's wonderful in my personal Bible and prayer time, enjoyed food and exercise, marvelled at birds in flight, been awed by sunlight's reflection on a snow-covered landscape, and much more!
The experience brought these Scriptures to mind:
Proverbs 4:20-23 – Dear friend, listen well to my words; tune your ears to my voice. Keep my message in plain view at all times. Concentrate! Learn it by heart! Those who discover these words live, really live; body and soul, they're bursting with health. Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that's where life starts. (MSG)
John 10:10b – [Jesus said:] I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). (AMP)
Please, try out the prayer: "Lord, show me Your love here."
Prayer: Father, in heaven, in the name of Christ Jesus our Lord, we ask: may we be attentive to Your love and generous to share it with others. Amen.
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Thanks Pat for sharing. Wishing you a Happy New Year.
Thank you Pat, for this Beautiful start to the New Year!
May you be blessed with being shown, and in return, show, much love throughout 2015.
What a wonderful Daily. What a wonderful way to start the New Year! Thank you for sharing. Every best wish in 2015.
Happy New Year! Enjoyed your devotional – a great start to the new year. Wishing you many blessings in the year ahead.
Good thoughts as we enter a new year. May we always be tuned to His voice as we follow and serve Him in the year ahead. Happy New Year! Be blessed in 2015.
Pat, This is a beautiful devotional. I enjoyed reading Francis Havergal’s hymn – slowly and thoughtfully. It is so rich with expressions of the abundant life in Christ.
I rejoice in how the Lord has answered your prayer this past year. He has opened your eyes to recognize the avalanche of blessing – in every part of life – in and around you. May He bless you even more this coming year; and may you be a witness of His love each day during the coming year.
Pat, what a lovely poem for this coming year. Thank you for sharing with us. Blessings.
Thanks for the New Year’s blessing Pat.
I am reminded of Psalm 139:14: “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”
A great reminder.
If we are appreciative of what He has given us temporarily, imagine what is in store with Him eternally!
Have a blessed healthy New Year
Gives hope for our future Pat-may our words someday be found worthy to go on into eternity!
Thank you for your writings this past year, they are a blessing and an inspiration to many. Please keep on writing.