Yesterday a sweet sister in Christ challenged some friends and I to claim a word from the Lord for this next year. A word that God has given us and is working out in us for His glory. A word that will be our focus next year. It is always hard for me to pin these down. It seems I go in too many directions at once!
A few of the friends that were challenged have already claimed their words. For one dear sister it is Faith, for another it is Believe and yet another has Plans & Purposes. Over these past 5 years or so my words have been Write, Walk, Study and Teach. My calling boiled down into a clear focus. After some prayer and thought time over my 2016 word, DEVOTION keeps coming to mind. That first love that the Ephesians are told they have lost. Devotion to Jesus Christ.
When I think of those in my life who have or are living devoted lives for Jesus, the list is really short. But when I expand my understanding, I see faithful brothers and sisters walking through life with a deep love for my Savior. It looks different for everyone. Each of our callings is unique. It is the Lord God who remains the same! His word never changes.
The definition for Devotion is:
love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or cause
Living out the life that God has given you with devotion to Jesus Christ and building God’s kingdom wherever you are. That is devotion. There are many passages of scripture that speak to such devotion to Jesus. Here are a few that stood out to me this morning.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV)
For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. (2 Corinthians 5:14-15 ESV)
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. (Romans 12:9-12 ESV)
I want to live out of love for Him who died for my sake. I want to serve the Lord Jesus with this one life that I have been given. I want to walk in complete devotion to God. That is an awfully lofty goal for next year, and I’m not really sure how God will work it out in my life. But I do agree that having a focus for our days and being intentional with the time that God has given us is important.
So what is your word for 2016? Where is God calling you to focus in and change? How is your life being poured out for God’s kingdom? Are you still walking in your will striving to meet your own goals or have you surrendered your life to Jesus as Lord? Have you asked Him what He wants from you in this season of life? Are you being intentional with your time or is life just flowing past you like a river?
God will draw near to you when you draw near to Him. Ask Him. Seek Him. Be encouraged. 2016 is going to be a great year for Jesus! Press on!