It’s a new year! Twenty-eighteen … how are we already here?

It seems like just yesterday the world was in full-blown panic mode about ushering in the year 2000 and all the potential havoc that would ensue moving from the 1900s to the 2000s. Despite all the preparation and downright fear, the Y2K concerns came and went as fast as the clock struck midnight and the following 17 years seems to have passed almost as quickly. Each January as we usher in a new year, I think it’s safe to say that we ALL have expectations of just what that clean slate will allow us to accomplish … what new and exciting story we will write on those 365 pages.

I am so expectant to see what the Lord will do in and through me in 2018.

One of my main goals for this new year is to be the best Christ follower I can be. To do this, I must spend time each and every day drawing near to Him. Some of you may be thinking, “yeah, I want that too, but what does that even look like? How do I make that happen?”   

I believe drawing near to God is different for everyone … it’s personal!

For me it happens in various ways and at times when I least expect it. I can be standing in church as the worship team begins singing a praise and worship song that’s one of my favorites and I instantly feel His presence! Sometimes the closeness is so strong and leads me to such a connection with the Lord that I am unable to hold back the tears. Other times I am drawn to Him during my morning commute when I’m getting my worship on in the car. Still other times it happens through reading the word or through a devotion that I “randomly” stumbled across, but upon reading it, I know it wasn’t random at all … it was a divine word the Lord was speaking directly to me!

There are many ways to come into the presence of the Lord but for me, one of the ways I feel the closest to Him is when I’m helping, encouraging or loving on one of His children.

See, He’s blessed me with the gift of encouragement and has given me a true heart for helping, serving and giving to others. There’s nothing I love more than when he puts someone on my heart … I may have no idea why or even begin to know what that person may be going through, but when I’m faithful to take the step and let them know they are loved, without fail, I see God’s hand using me and the fact that He would allow me to be His hands and feet draws me even closer to Him! In turn, the person on the receiving end also sees that God is right there watching over them … caring so much about them that He’s placed someone in their path so that they are reminded of the amazing God they serve … one who knows them, sees them and loves them beyond compare.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. ~ Matthew 5:16

Are you seeking to draw closer to your Father in 2018? I encourage you to begin by walking in your spiritual gifting. If you don’t know what those are, pray and ask the Lord to reveal them to you. You will never be happier, more fulfilled or closer to the Lord than when you are serving Him and His children! Make 2018 your year to draw near to your Savior and allow Him to fill you with His spirit so you too can shine your light before men and draw others into an intimate relationship with the one and only living God! I pray you, precious sister feel His sweet presence in your life today and throughout the year ahead.

Let Your Light Shine...

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Amber Edwards began Blessing Bag Ministry, affording her numerous opportunities to share her love for the Lord with many lost and hurting.   A native of Birmingham and Huffman High School, Amber is happily married with two teens and working as a Legal Assistant/Paralegal.   She enjoys leading women’s small groups and serving as Captain of the Events Team at her church.  Her true passion is for others.  Read Ambers BoP bio here.

Feature Image Photo by Murray Campbell on Unsplash

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