Each year, I spend the month of December in prayer and review of the year, and pray for the upcoming new year. I ask God to give a word or phrase or specific scripture to focus on for the year, and I let that guide my year. I have found this has produced greater change in me than making resolutions. Last year my word was “choose.” It seemed so odd to me at the start of the year, but man, did it end up explaining my year well! Through many different types of choices, I grew in Christ. I had to make the choice to accomplish difficult concepts, tasks, relationships, loving well, changing my perspective, protecting my faith, and many more. Lots of “choosing”!
This year, God has repeatedly led me to the word “simple” and this scripture: “Let what you say be simply 'Yes' or 'No;' anything more than this comes from evil (Matthew 5:37).” I’m excited about this one. When I kept receiving this word, I thought YES! I would love a simple year! Maybe one with nothing to “choose.” But I know that I grow most when I am challenged, so I have a feeling I will have some “simple” challenges this year that God wants to reveal Himself through in a mighty way!
Taking the idea a step further, I have decided to make the word an acronym to set a goal for the year.
S- Study: Really dive into scripture daily, not just devotionals.
I- Implement: Listen and apply what God is teaching me through prayer and study.
M- Memorize: Commit scripture to memory. Goal-at least one a month.
P- Purpose: Embrace God’s plan for me. Act on the purpose He placed on me.
L- Love: Grow in loving well.
E- Empower: Be an encourager who empowers others in their walk of faith.
I will be applying this form of “simple” to my life this year. Ironically, “study” is at the top, and it’s probably the most “simple” statement to gain growth. God speaks to us through His living Word; it’s as simple as that! If I truly want to grow in Christ, I must first commit to learning/knowing His Word. This will be the start to succeeding this year. What will be your goal for the year? How will you grow in Christ? You can join me on this “simple” journey!
I will rejoice in the simple gospel
I will rejoice in You, Lord
(Simple Gospel, United Pursuit)
The LORD preserves the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.
For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling;
I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.