As we finish this year, I have been reflecting on what has happened during the year and more importantly what is in the year ahead.

I sense the year we are finishing now has been an OK year, more difficult than expected but maybe not producing everything we would like.

In my reading for the last couple of weeks the Lord has been reminding me in my heart and head that we are all called, we are all artists and we all have work to do and will we push on in 2023 to be about the work we have to do.

He makes and prepares artists:

Exodus 31:3-4 “And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, 4 “to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze,

Exodus 35:10 ‘All who are gifted artisans among you shall come and make all that the LORD has commanded:

Exodus 35:25 All the women who were gifted artisans spun yarn with their hands, and brought what they had spun, of blue, purple, and scarlet, and fine linen.

God has wonderful plans and we are all here with a calling and plan on our life. No matter what this plan is every part is important to God. He is the master strategist, the master planner and he has prepared all the pieces for the board and each of us is one of those pieces. It amazes me when I see all the artists He had prepared in Exodus to complete the tasks. I see this in my own life where He brings along skilled people to do the tasks He has asked me to complete.  I have examples of where He has told me to go and get this person in the team as that is the person God has prepared for that role with the right skills. He has also said at times, when I meet a person, that this person is being prepared for a certain role in the future.

It is amazing to see how each of us has a role and knowing this is something we can hold onto. The whole body is needed.

Exodus 35:35 “He has filled them with skill to do all manner of work of the engraver and the designer and the tapestry maker, in blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine linen, and of the weaver–those who do every work and those who design artistic works.

But just being an artist is not enough as we are expected to work. To co-labour with the Lord so He has something to work with. He can only use His artists if they choose to work.

What I have learnt over the last few years is that the Lord loves hard workers. This is something that gives him pleasure and He can reward. When you look at the book of proverbs there are so many verses that talk about our work ethic and the results of this.

Proverbs 12:27-28 The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting, But diligence is man’s precious possession. 28 In the way of righteousness is life, And in its pathway there is no death.

When I was young (eight years old) I went to a convent school and at the end of the year I was given a prize for diligence by the nuns. I didn’t even know what the word diligence meant but I went and looked it up and understood what it was and it is something since then that has stuck with me and I see it is liked and rewarded by the Lord. The funny thing about this story when I look back is the nuns gave me a prize of a book on UFO’s and Aliens which was my favourite book for years (quite out there for a convent!).

Proverbs 12:24 The hand of the diligent will rule, But the lazy man will be put to forced labour.

Proverbs 13:4 The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.

Proverbs 13:11 Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, But he who gathers by labour will increase.

Work is an offering in a way. We are thanking the Lord for the opportunity for what He has given us and we do it for Him no matter what the task. He sees everything we do, and He uses everything we do so don’t diminish the job you are doing at the moment. Don’t murmur, don’t curse but do the best you can. He sees us all and sometimes we just don’t understand what He is preparing us for.  Remember He uses all things.

Proverbs 14:23 In all labour there is profit, But idle chatter leads only to poverty.

Proverbs 18:9 He who is slothful in his work Is a brother to him who is a great destroyer.

Proverbs 19:15 Laziness casts one into a deep sleep, And an idle person will suffer hunger.

We are Artists that work but we need to do this with a willing heart.

Exodus 35:22 They came, both men and women, as many as had a willing heart, and brought earrings and nose rings, rings and necklaces, all jewellery of gold, that is, every man who made an offering of gold to the LORD.

The work was being done with the right heart and not out of obligation. As I go into 2023, I want to be about the work He created for me with the right heart focussed on Him. It is easy to get distracted from this, so it is a prayer point for me.

He provides

God will provide what we need but with some qualifications I have learnt. Am I about His work and not the work I want to do? Can I be trusted to be a good steward of what He provides? I must ensure I pay my craftsman and artists.  There are more lessons He has taught me and I have seen as I learn these and can be trusted He gives me more for the tasks at hand.

2 Kings 12:10-12 So it was, whenever they saw that there was much money in the chest, that the king’s scribe and the high priest came up and put it in bags and counted the money that was found in the house of the LORD. 11 Then they gave the money, which had been apportioned, into the hands of those who did the work, who had the oversight of the house of the LORD; and they paid it out to the carpenters and builders who worked on the house of the LORD, 12 and to masons and stonecutters, and for buying timber and hewn stone, to repair the damage of the house of the LORD, and for all that was paid out to repair the temple.

2 Kings 12:15 Moreover they did not require an account from the men into whose hand they delivered the money to be paid to workmen, for they dealt faithfully.

Can we be trusted with the talent so He can give us more?

Even If I only have a little, I am required to keep moving with wisdom.

2 Corinthians 8:10-12 And in this I give advice: It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago; 11 but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have. 12 For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.

Let’s finish the work

John 4:34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.

Jesus said at the end of His life down here

John 17:4 I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.

We have a job to do and 2023 is about using your skills in the calling you have and to be about the work that is in front of you.  This is regardless of what has happened over the last few years.

The enemy may have been trying to destroy your calling and completion of tasks, but God is faithful to those who are about His work in faith.

James 2:22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?

Leviticus 26:3-4 ‘If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them, 4 then I will give you rain in its season, the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.

We need to perform, to work, to obey.

2023

Philippians 3:12-14 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

The Lord gives me these word as I finish.

I am pleased with many of My children as they do the work and they do press on, but I ask that they now stand and deliver as we get to the conclusion of a number of tasks. Don’t give up, don’t stop but push on so that you can see the many blessings I have in My kingdom work.  I have called you and I use you for the purpose you were put here to do, so will you stand and complete all that is laid out in front of you? No matter the size of the task they are all important to My kingdom work so don’t underestimate your contribution and what I ask each of you do, Be excited. be pleased and move forward in Me.

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