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Look to the Gospel

“For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Luke 1:37

I love celebrating New Years. Okay, so I can’t remember the last time we actually stayed up until midnight, but I still love New Year’s Eve. We usually go out to eat and then spend a quiet evening, (as quiet of an evening as one can have with 4 kids) at home. But I love planning for and anticipating all the things I am going to do the New Year.

I thrive on lists and the new year gives me a great opportunity to go list crazy. I have lists of books I want to read, Bible studies I am going to work through, bad habits I am going to get rid of, and new habits I am going to develop.  I try to put together more efficient cleaning routines, good financial plans, and new health goals for myself and my family.

I always have very high expectations and then the inevitable happens. I fail! By January 2nd of this year I felt a bit depressed because I barked at the kids, hadn’t started reading any books yet, spent another day in PJs, didn’t brush my teeth until the afternoon, got behind in laundry (it only takes a nano second to get behind in laundry in my house), … well you get the idea.

I think of January 1st as a magic date that will somehow make me wake up more patient, more organized, more joyful and overall more godly. For a split second it is easy to forget that without God I can do nothing.

I love and need this verse from Luke 1. Mary has just been told something crazy. She is going to have a baby while still a virgin. If that isn’t impossible enough, this baby is going to be the Son of God. She is going to give birth to the One who created her and someday, would save her. Mary has a hard time wrapping her brain around all this and wonders how it could be true. She asks, “How can this be?” The angel tells her that “nothing is impossible with God”

Let me share a few things with you that I am preaching to myself right now.

1. My failure doesn’t define me.

Though I will fail at my best attempt to do good, God will never fail in his love for and acceptance of me (Psalm 136). This is the heart of the gospel: that I am good with God because of his grace, and his grace remains ever available for me. God loves me dearly no matter what and that makes me want to work all the harder.

2. My failure doesn’t ruin me.

God has promised to continue the good work that he has started in me.Though I will fail, God will be faithful. He will sanctify me, change me, strengthen me, and help me (Heb 13:5-7). He will encourage me, gently rebuke me and ultimately make me perfect.

3. My failure isn’t the end.

Though I will fail that doesn’t mean success is impossible. All the good I want to do is impossible if attempted on my own, but with God all things are possible (Matt. 19:26). The God who created the world out of nothing, the God whose son was miraculously conceived in the womb of a virgin, the God who can save “rich men,” the God who can do the impossible is my God. And he is with me, in me, and for me.

I am pretty sure we have all failed at our new years resolutions and I can promise you that it will happen over and over again, but let us resolve to always go to the foot of the cross, whether we run, craw, or drag ourselves there. At that blood soaked cross we will find strength, encouragement, joy, and the power to be more like Jesus. I am praying with confidence that throughout this year there will be real change, because with God nothing is impossible.

Looking to Jesus,

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  1. Wow Jen, thanks for this – so encouraging. The last 6 months I have been thinking so much about how God uses us in our broken and weak state, and how our failures can be used to glorify Him. We just have to give it all to him in prayer.

    Your 3 points really hit the mark, thank you for sharing.

    And thanks to all the GMG team – a small group of us in South England, UK are doing the Luke Studies together and really being challenged and inspired.


  2. Thank you! That is a message that I really needed to hear today! Have a great weekend!

  3. Thank you! I needed to hear this.

  4. That was right on target with how I was feeling. Thank you!

  5. Just what I needed for the day! I don’t make resolutions. Rather I set goals for which to strive. And I try to keep it simple, otherwise, I get too overwhelmed. Baby steps!

  6. Jen, thanks so much for sharing this today. I’ve been feeling like a failure so much this past week. What a timely reminder! I particularly like “my failure does not define me”. I love the fact that by God’s grace I’ve been forgiven and there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

    Thanks again!

  7. Very on point for me these past couple of weeks. Very encouraging reminder how failure isn’t the end. My failures seem to be piling up around me, but I needed that reminder that God will lift me out and help me turn them into sucesses. Thank you.

  8. “He is with me, in me, and for me.” Beautiful words that spoke to my heart today! Thank you! <3

  9. As everyone has already said, this was right on target! I think we always are too quick to condemn ourselves. Why is that!?! Thanks so much for the encouragement!

  10. Loved your 3 points today, Jen! Ohhh how we need to be reminded of daily of His love, His grace and that He is the King of second (third….fourth….) chances. :) Thank you for blessing my heart today! :)

  11. Thanks for the encouraging words.

  12. Thanks for the encouraging words

  13. Jen. Thanks for the awesome message and encouragement.

  14. Love these words of encouragement!! Thank you!


  16. Yes and amen! WE are able to do all through Christ, not through our own strength. In Him we succeed, but on our own it is inevitable that we’ll fail. So I’m glad we have Him living within to lead and guide, direct, and ensure our path.


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