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LIVING IN THE RIVER IN 2018

As we leave behind the year 2017 and step into the year 2018, a verse from Psalm 65 really spoke to my heart concerning the New year. Psalm 65:11 declares, "You crown the year with Your goodness, and Your paths drip with abundance." What a powerful picture of God's goodness and abundance being poured out upon our lives and through our lives in this new year.

Our God is a good God! He wants to fill our lives with His goodness. His pathways drip with abundance. Our God overflows with goodness and mercy and desires to pour out His goodness and mercy upon us in 2018.

How does this goodness and abundance pour into our lives? Psalm 65:9 tells us, "The river of God is full of water." This verse is talking about God's supply of water for the land of Israel, but it is also a promise of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in and through the life of the believer. Jesus promised us in John 7:38 that out of the heart of the believer would flow rivers of living water. This river of living water is described by the apostle John in the next verse as a river of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus wants our lives to be filled with the living water of the Holy Spirit. The river of God is full of water. Heaven never runs dry. The resources of heaven never run out. Psalm 23:6 assures us that goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives. We are invited to step into the river of God's abundance and outpouring and live in this river in this new year. How do we live in this river of the Holy Spirit?

The first step is to leave the past behind. In Philippians 3:13, the apostle Paul writes, "But one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead." Every runner is coached to keep their eyes on the finish line. Jesus warned us in Luke 17:32, "Remember Lot's wife." She couldn't let go of the past. In looking back, she perished. We want to let go of every offense. We want to let go of the hurts, the regrets, the might have beens and the should have dones. Look to Jesus. he is the author and finisher of our faith.

The second step is to believe that God has a good plan for each of us in 2018. He is good. His plans are good. He has plans to bless us. He has a future and a hope for us. (Jeremiah 29:11). The prophet Isaiah encouraged the people of Israel with these words in Isaiah 43:18-19, "Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth, shall you not know it?" God has a good plan for each of us in 2018.

The third step is to open our hearts wide to the river of the Holy Spirit. He is the river of heaven's joy. He is the river of heaven's goodness. He is the river of heaven's abundance. As we surrender to the Holy Spirit, listen to the Holy Spirit, and obey the Holy Spirit, the river of the Holy Spirit will carry us into everything the Father has for us in 2018.

I am excited about what God has for each of us and for Joy Church in 2018. In praying about this new year, I keep hearing Ephesians 3:20. God wants to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ask, think or imagine in this new year. Let's believe His promise and step into all that He has for us.

Denise and I thank God for each of you and look with expectation to see what God will do in 2018.

Yours in Christ,

Denise & McLean