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Weekly Dive Deeper

Our Purpose

This week I want to start off with some verses, “Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭28:16-20‬ 

This passage is often referred to as the great commission, it was written after Jesus had risen from the dead, but before He ascended into heaven. In this passage Jesus is telling them again the reason for His going away and the purpose for all Christians lives. He tells them to go into all the nations making disciples. Many churches have started this come as you are theology, no commitments just come to know Him and then you can continue to live your life the way you did before you met Jesus. God never called us to just come to know Him and then go live like the rest of the world does. It should be, come as you are, accept Him and turn from your sins, then to get to know Him through studying the Bible, prayer, and church to observe Jesus’ commandments, and then going and making disciples. 

When you come to know Jesus it is a relationship. Relationships are not built on one person spending time waiting for the other person to notice them, it is built on experiences and time spent with the other person. So many people come to Jesus, but do not realize that it is a commitment to follow Him for the rest of eternity, it is not just fire insurance, it is a commitment. We as a church have separated the commitment into two different commitments, when really they are one commitment to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and give Him the rest of your life. We have brought a casual nature into Christianity, that was not there in the first couple of generations of Christians. We as a church have made being a christian a one or two hour a week habit, when being a Christian is not a switch you can flip on and off, it is a lifestyle and relationship. Church is not an educational tv show that will only matter when we die, it is building a relationship with God now and forever.

This week I want to encourage you to be aware that I believe the fields are ripe and the gathers are few. There is a readiness like never before where people are aware of their own morality with this pandemic. People are ready to hear about Jesus and the workers are few, yes there are some hurdles to jump to share during this time with the whole shelter in place and six feet rules, but all these can be overcome. We can reach most of the world on our phones or computers by social media, blog, podcast, or instant messaging. Other ways you can share is by leaving tracks and by talking to those you come in contact with. We need to let others know that it is not just fire insurance, it is a personal relationship with Him and He wants to know you and He wants you to be His light while here on earth. 

 If you do not know Jesus as your Lord and Savior know that He loves you and wants to know you. You can choose to follow Jesus and give Him your life. If you would like to come to know Him click the link below. I also want to let other christians know that God can not love you any more or less than He does right now. So this week, know that allowing Jesus into your heart is not just a commitment to allow Him to come into your heart, but it is also a commitment to grow in a relationship with Him and share the gospel with others and to follow Him into eternity. Allowing Jesus into your heart is not just for eternity, Jesus is the relationship we were made for, He is all we will ever need. He has a purpose for you being here, people only you can reach and disciple, no one is here without a purpose. He knows all by name whether you know that name is up to you, but He is calling for you, will you answer, can you hear Him? He created each and every soul for a reason and He loves each and everyone of them enough to send His one and only son to die on the cross for their sins. So this week pray and ask God who He has put in your life to reach, to minister to, or to disciple. 

https://www.weeklybiblicalencouragement.com/2020/11/15/do-you-have-a-river-of-living-water/

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Weekly Dive Deeper

Daily Battles

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭6:10-13 with arrows and a shield

This week I want to start off with some verses, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭6:10-13 

I want to use an example that will help you understand what I am trying to show you this week. Back before the internet, radio, telegraphs, and phones, before you could know what someone on the other side of the world had for breakfast even before they finished eating it, there used to be this weird lapse in time between war being won and all the battles stopping. Where the commanders did not know the war was over and would continue to fight even when they had won or lost. We are in that lapse of time and we have been for over 2000 years where God has won the war, but here on earth we are still fighting the battles. It is not a lapse in communication, but because He wants everyone to come to know Him before the end of the war. He is waiting for you! He wants to have a personal relationship with you, not because you have to, but because you want to. He gives us the choice to choose Him or to deny Him. 

We fight spiritual battles every day whether we realize it or not, we are either doing things for God’s kingdom or for the kingdom of darkness. When I say the kingdom of darkness, I am referring to the spiritual beings that are warring against God, but I am also referring to the desire that sin wrote into the core of our beings.  God has already won the war,  it is up to you to take a stand for God and fight in the battles in our everyday lives. Some people will ask if we have already won the war, then why do we have to fight in the battles? The reason it is important is because we have won the war, but there are billions of people who do not know God. They need to see the way we fight our battles, the way we go through life and wonder what it is that is within us, then we can point them to Jesus. 

When you know you can’t lose, it should not make you give up, but instead it should give you a new passion, because God is on our side. He has no equal, the Bible says, that God is light and darkness is just the absence of light, so when you think about it Light has no equal and darkness is just that absence of light. I am not saying that the kingdom of darkness does not have power, it does. That is why the Bible says, to put on the full armor of God so you can resist the urge to do things for the kingdom of darkness. Instead when the battles come in our everyday lives, we can win them for the Kingdom of God. Some of the battles I face a lot in my life are the desires to keep to myself and not talk to someone when God prompts me to and to choose to seek Him instead of seeking after things of this world.    So this week remember that the war has been won and that God is more powerful. It is still important to win the battles that happen in our everyday lives, because you are either doing things for God’s Kingdom or for the kingdom of darkness. Also, this week if you have never accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, know that He wants to know you and have a personal relationship with you.

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Weekly Dive Deeper

Seeking Revival

This week I want to start off with some verses, “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”” ‭‭Acts‬ ‭20:35 ‬ This week I want to encourage you in these words that Jesus said, that it is more blessed to give than to receive. I believe that God wrote the desire to help others in the core of our being and that it is a constant battle between that desire and the desire that sin wrote, which is just to look out for yourself and act like no one else exists. I want to encourage you this week to help someone, not because I asked you to or because you think you should, but because you want to and to serve God. No matter where you are, you can help someone whether you are by yourself or in a crowd of those who need help. If you are trying to reach people for God, one of the best ways to reach them is to meet their needs first and then share with them. This was an example used by Jesus, He would help them with their physical needs by healing them and then would meet their spiritual needs.

  So many people would rather send money overseas for missions, instead of doing something to serve others themselves. But we as the church have forgotten that the biggest mission field is right in our own communities. Yes, people need to hear about God overseas, but there are those right here in our communities that need the gospel, help or just want a friend to walk through this time with them. We need to see that maybe all the travel restrictions are not an obstacle to sharing the gospel, but maybe a blessing because we are all here. We all have questions about our own mortality during this time. People are scared or at least a little bit more conscious of it. I believe this is the perfect time for a revival like we have never seen before, the wood is dry and ready, all we need is a spark, could it be you that lights the match? It just takes a group of men and women to be on fire for God, to start a revival that will change millions of eternities forever, it is not a one man job, but nothing is impossible with God. So pray and ask God this week for revival.

This week I want to encourage you that just because you are stuck in doors or you feel like no one wants to talk to you because of the pandemic, that you can still share the gospel exactly where you are. God has placed you exactly where He wants you. There’s always someone around you, who you could help or share the gospel with, even during this pandemic. This week find someone to help and share the gospel with, also this week pray and ask God for revival to break out.

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Weekly Dive Deeper

The Relationship you were made for

This week I want to start off with some verse,“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us.” ‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:10-19‬ 

This weekend is all about love and relationships, but not a lot of us think about our relationship with God, we focus on other relationships. We neglect the most important relationship we will ever have, a relationship with God, our Creator and Savior. This relationship is more than you could ever have with anyone else, it is what you were created for. He can love you more than anyone else because He is love. When you have a relationship with God, your relationships with others will grow. This week I want to remind you that God is the God of love and He loves you. He gave up part of Himself to come down here and suffered on the cross, so that one day we could live forever with Him. So this Valentine’s day what could be better than to start a relationship with your Savior, a relationship that will last forever. The whole reason you were created is in fact and the whole reason the human race was created is to know Him and to have the free will to choose God and to willingly come to Him. Not because we have to, but because we want to come to Him to know Him as are Lord and Savior. 

So this week I want to encourage you to come to know Him as your Lord and Savior. It is a free gift that God gave to us, not so we could escape hell, but so we can be in a relationship with Him forever. All you have to do to is accept the free gift of salvation by admitting that you are a sinner; sin is anything that was not in God’s original plan for His world and that saddens the heart of God; and believe that He sent His only begotten Son to die on Calvary’s Hill for your sins, bridging the gap between mankind and God forever, and confess Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of your life. Also this week I want to encourage you, if you are a Christian, that this week can be the week that you grow closer to Him than you have ever been, be who He made you to be and look at Him differently because He made you and called you to Him.

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Weekly Dive Deeper

Storm Calmer

This week I want to start off with some verses, “But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.””

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭14:26-33‬ ‭

I think that Peter is a great example of what a lot of us are like as we follow Jesus in our everyday lives. I think sometimes we are still worrying about things that Jesus has already conquered in our lives, you see He had already calmed a storm before. He can do it again. But, we like Peter do not see that we are only looking at the storm that is raging around us and seem to miss a lot of the little miracles and some of the big miracles that occur. Even though we seem to notice more miracles during the storms than in any other season in our lives. You would think that we would notice more on a peaceful lake than on a stormy night at sea, but it always seems to be more during the storms in our lives. A lot of you may think that Jesus is closer to us during the storms of our lives, but the truth is, He is always right there. It just takes a storm for us to notice His light radiating all around us, because we are so busy, we miss all the miracles that happen in our everyday lives. But, even in the storm there is lightning, wind, rain, and thunder that can distract us from Jesus and make us forget that He is right there with us.

I want to encourage you, that when you find yourself in a storm to remember Jesus is a storm calmer, whether it is a storm within you or it is something going on around you, remember that He is right there with you, if you are a Christian. If not, He can be right there with you, all you have to do is accept Him into your life, it is a free gift and He wants to come walk on the waters of life with you every day, whether you are in a storm or on a peaceful lake. Just remember that it is never too late, no matter what you have done, He still wants to know you and love you through it all, He will not love your sin, but He will love you. 

This week I want to encourage you no matter where you are to look for Jesus moving in your life, it may feel like He is closer in the storms of life, but He is always there, we just need to slow down long enough to notice. Also, if you do not know Him, He wants to come and walk with you through life, He loves you more than anyone could or will. He will be beside you in the calm and through the storms all you have to do is accept the free gift of salvation by admitting that you are a sinner; sin is anything that was not in God’s original plan for His world and that saddens the heart of God; and believe that 2000 years ago  He sent His only begotten son to die on Calvary’s Hill for your sins bridging the gap between mankind and God forever, and confess Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of your life.

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Weekly Dive Deeper

Light or dark

This week I want to start off with some verses, ““No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.”” Luke‬ ‭11:33-36‬ 

In our society today, the world is trying to have us keep our beliefs in the church building. But, we need to realize, we are the church and the light of the world. Light is in us and they can try to tell us that our beliefs are supposed to stay inside the building of the church, but we are the church and we have the light the world needs. They can try to make us cover up the light that is within us, they often say that we are trying to push our “religion” on them and sometimes I think we are so eager to share our light that we come across as pushy, but more often I think that it is the Holy Spirit calling them to Jesus. 

If you are in a dark room for a little while and someone turns on the light, your eyes will hurt for a few seconds and then your eyes will adjust. But, when a Christian walks into a room, it should be the same way, some people will adjust and want to know what the light is and some people will be offended and want you to leave, just how some people would want the light to be turned off in the room. So many people seem to be offended by our light, that they seem to want to bring any other religious holidays up to celebrate, but when it comes to Easter and Christmas they want to take Christ out of the holidays and call it something else, like spring break or winter holidays. 

I even see people in Christian circles calling our holidays by other names to try to keep from offending anyone. If you aren’t saying Merry Christmas because you are worried about offending someone and you are a Christian, then you need to check yourself. In the passage above Jesus is saying, if you dwell in light, then you will be a light, if you dwell on darkness, then your light will go out, but that does not mean you lose your salvation, it means that you are supporting the world. We are called to be in the world, but not of the world. One of my pastors would say you support one of two kingdoms, the kingdom of the world or God’s kingdom. 

Here is my question this week, whose kingdom are you supporting this week with your words and actions? I also want you to remember this week, that we are the church, the church is not a building, it is a gathering of people and that church can not be contained within four walls. Even if they threw us in prison the gospel would continue on, even without a church building. This week I also want to encourage you to be less worried about offending people with your faith and to be more worried about their souls. 

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Change in direction

This week I want to start off with some verses, ‘When we got to Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with a soldier to guard him. Three days later he called together the local Jewish leaders. When they had assembled, Paul said to them: “My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. They examined me and wanted to release me, because I was not guilty of any crime deserving death. The Jews objected, so I was compelled to make an appeal to Caesar. I certainly did not intend to bring any charge against my own people. For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain.” ‘ Acts 28:16-20 

This week I want you to encourage you to look at things that you think are holding you back from what God called you to do, it could be what God has placed on your life, not to hold you back, but to show you a different way of doing things. Paul may have thought that his ministry was over, but it was because of his jail cells that He wrote twenty eight percent of the New Testament, more than any other person. He was also able to reach all the guards that were supposed to be guarding him, instead they were really Paul’s captive audience for hours, so he could share the gospel with them. 

Maybe you feel like that the pandemic is holding you back from what God called you to do. But I want you to think is He calling you to minister to your family or whoever you are with during this time? Perhaps He is calling you to write like Paul did when He was trapped indoors or maybe He is calling you to something else, that this time has allowed you to do, that you would not have been able to do without the pandemic. He is calling you during this time to grow closer to Him and close everything else out and spend more time in prayer and reading the Bible.

So this week, I want you to pray and see what God would have you to do during this time in our lives, whether it would be to minister and grow closer with your family or friends you are around, to write a blog, a book, or a podcast. Is He just drawing you closer to Him during this time? He could be calling you to spend your time another way, pray and ask Him what He would have you to do during this time in your life, whether you are still sheltered in place or out and about. See how He can use you during this time in your life and when it feels like something is holding you back, take a step back and look and see what or how you can help others right where you are.

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The power of looking back

This week we are going to discuss the power of looking back. So let’s start off with some verses, ‘That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread. ‘ Luke 24:13-35 In this passage, Jesus comes to Cleopas and a friend and they do not recognize Him until He breaks bread with them, even though they walked with Him a long way. It was not until they looked back that they realized what God was doing on the that walk with them.  He was ministering to them and showing them what they had missed when reading and interpreting the scriptures. He showed them starting with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Just imagine being able to hear Jesus telling all the things prophesied about Himself and all the pictures of Him as you walked with Him, that would have been incredible. But, they did not see that it was Jesus while they were walking through it. They did not see it until they looked back over their walk with Jesus and they realized the importance of what they had experienced. I think this means there are times in our lives when we do not realize how He is using something in our lives to minister to us, until we look back and see that it was Him right there with us the entire time, even though at the time we could not see it yet. But there is also a danger in looking back over our lives, if we do not have the right perspective. We could start to dwell on things we have done in the past that God has called us out of and that can make us less productive, if we dwell on those things instead of dwelling on things of Christ. So this week I want to encourage you to look back for the times when Jesus was there in your life and you did not see Him while you were walking through it to see what He was teaching you.  I also want to encourage you that if you do not feel like God is with you during this season of your life, then make sure your heart is right with God and wait because in those seasons when we do not feel Him, that is when He is teaching us for the next season even though we can’t see Him yet.

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Nothing without love

This week I want to start off with some verses, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. 1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:1-3‬ ‭In these verses Paul tells the Corinthians, if you do not have love, you have nothing and you have done nothing. In our world today we as a people seem to prefer hate to love, it is what drives clicks and that is why everywhere you look there seems to be hate. If you look at the trend it is mostly about hate and very little stories about someone loving a homeless person or  helping others or showing the love of Christ. It happens so little that when it does, it seems to get hate for the way they did it or what they were wearing.  So many people are stirring hate, whether over race, religion, or politics.  I think this week God wants to remind us that those things are earthly problems, that will not last forever and that love is the one emotion that will last forever. We seem to be interested in hate now, but at the root we all are looking to others for approval and for love when we should be looking for those things from Jesus. If you are a child of God, then there is nothing you can do to make God love you less or more than He does right now. For some people, you have been serving God because you are trying to get Him to love you more, but you can’t do anything to get Him to love you more. That does not mean that you should not serve Him, it means that you should serve Him more not seeking love, but because He loves you the most He could ever love you now. You should serve Him not to be seen by Him or anyone else for boasting rights, but so that others may see Him through you and so they can feel the love of Christ.  So many people are looking for someone to show them love, rather by giving them your time to come to know them or by meeting their needs. This week I want to encourage you to realize that we all need to feel love sometimes and so many people are hurting during this time, because 2020 has thrown off their gathering with their family, friends, and brothers and sisters in Christ. This week I would also like to encourage you to show the love of Jesus to all you meet this week and to think about finding some way to serve Him this week whether online or in person.

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Turning walls into doors

This week I want to start off with some verses, “While he was still speaking, someone from the ruler’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more.” But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.” And when he came to the house, he allowed no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. And all were weeping and mourning for her, but he said, “Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But taking her by the hand he called, saying, “Child, arise.” And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given to her to eat. And her parents were amazed, but he charged them to tell no one what had happened.” Luke‬ ‭8:49-56‬ ‭In this passage, Jesus is going to Jairus’ house, because his daughter is ill.  On the way they get caught in a crowd, as often happened while traveling with Jesus, but in the delay his daughter dies. Jarius and his messenger think there is nothing more the teacher can do, they see a wall, but Jesus sees a chance to show Jarius, his wife as well as John, Peter, and James that He is more than a teacher. He has the ultimate power over death because He is God. But Jesus does not want them to tell anyone, because it is not time yet for everyone to know that death has no power in the world and that Jesus has power over death. He wants you to know today that He has power over death and that death is not the end, it is the beginning of Heaven. We have the ability as those who live in the church age to begin our relationship with God here on earth; we do not have to wait for Heaven or have the consequence of losing the Holy Spirit. God is right here with us, He cares for us, loves us and wants to know us. In this passage where Jairus and his messenger saw a wall, Jesus saw a chance to show he was more than a teacher, that He was the Messiah. He did not just come for the Jews, He came for all Jews and Gentiles. There is an advantage to doing something in secret such as prayer or in Jesus’ case raising Jarius’ daughter from the dead. So this week I want to encourage you that when you see a wall that you do not think Jesus can help you with, pray to Him and see what He will do with your walls. Also, remember that He wants to know you and have a relationship with you before you get to heaven. The best time to start growing in your relationship with Him is the present and that would be a good New Years plan to grow closer to Him in 2021.