I know I said I'd be sharing about the characteristics of God, and I'll get to that. But for three years now, I've been selecting a Word of the Year. And since it is still the first month of 2019, I'd like to share that with you. I'm not too late!
Last year my word was Fruitful. You may remember some posts about that word. Well, of course God challenged me, even about my motives behind the word! God spoke through the verses I selected (John 15:4-5). In those verses, Jesus issued a call. He told us to "Remain in me." Even though Jesus goes on to explain that if you do remain in Him, you will produce much fruit, our assignment is not the production of the fruit. We are to simply remain in Him. What does that me? To me it meant be faithful.
At the end of last year, it was December before I received from God a clear idea of what my word should be. As a church we are studying the book of Ephesians. Those that were interested could sign up and receive verses to read and specific things to pray about. I did that, and one day in December, the verse was Eph. 2:20. "Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself." We were supposed to pray and ask God, "What do you want to build in me this year?"
God whispered to me, "Faith."
He brought my attention to Abraham, one of my favorite Bible guys. Romans chapter 4 talks about the faith of Abraham. Verse 20, in particular, caught my eye. "Abraham never wavered in believing God's promise. In fact his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God." Yes. This. This is what I want God to build in me. I long for my faith to grow stronger so I can bring Him more glory.
I also have claimed Hebrews 11:1 as one of my verses for the year. I love the NLT of this verse. "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." I cling to this verse when I wonder about the future and about some dreams that I have. I already sense God telling me, "These things will happen. Have faith." Some things have already been set in motion...more on that another time!
And I've already learned something else about faith this year! This week I spent an hour in my church's prayer room. The hour was focused on praying through the Armor of God section of scripture in Ephesians 6. I am pretty familiar with this chapter because of a previous Bible study, but God showed me something new.
Ephesians 6:16 talks about the shield of Faith. "Hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil." What God and the prayer guide pointed out to me was that the shield protects you, and those you touch. Let that sink in and picture it with me. A shield offers protection to the one who holds it, but because of its size and shape, it can also protect those who stand close enough to the shield bearer to get behind the shield.
Moms, dads, wives, husbands: do you know what this means? Your faith not only protects you from the devious attacks of the devil, but it can protect those you love the most. Your faith bolsters the faith of your kids. Your faith helps them stand strong under the pressures of today.
Such another good reason for God to build my faith this year, and your faith this year.
If you have never selected a focus word for the year, may I challenge you to do so this year? It's not too late! Ask God the same question I asked Him. "What do you want to build in me this year? What do you want me to learn this year?" Then get into His word and listen. Having a focus word really sets the tone for the year. It also orchestrates a
real way that you can measure your growth as a Christian. You can look back after the year is through and reflect about the journey you had with God.
If you give it a try, I'd love to know what your word is! If you pick a word or already have a word, please comment! We can hold each other accountable and on course. And I promise, no year is wasted when you pursue what God wants to build in you.
Hi, I'm Kristen! Just a girl who loves all things Jesus, family, music and food!
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