Faith Stories: Focus for the New Year
As 2015 approached, I was thinking about goals for the new year. So many of us make New Year Resolutions and then after a short time, we forget what we resolved to do. Some of us get so overwhelmed with the list of ways to improve our lives in the new year, that we don’t resolve to do anything new or different. After I made a mental list of personal goals for 2015 – eat less, exercise more, spend less and more wisely, give away more of the clutter in my house, be generous, and spend more time with my family – I decided that I really didn’t want to make any New Year Resolutions after all. It was too much! Then I read a devotional that reminded me of some advice that I received a few years ago: “Keep it simple.” That’s when I resolved to focus on ONE WORD for 2015. I thought that should be easy enough to handle, and it sounded simple. So I began to pray about my one focus word. A thought immediately popped into my head – my focus word for 2015 is “GROW.” I looked in the back of my Bible to see where I could find a verse with the word “GROW.” I was led to three passages of scripture with my focus word:
Ephesians 4:14-15 – “We are not meant to remain as children but to GROW up in every way into Christ.” Evidently God wants me to GROW UP in 2015!
1 Corinthians 3:6-7 – “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it GROW. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things GROW.” I must remember that I am a small part of the big picture and that ONLY God can help me GROW.
And finally, my most favorite scripture of all – 2 Peter 3:18 – “Continue to GROW in the grace and knowledge of our Savior, Jesus Christ.” That’s what my personal focus will be in 2015. I pray that as I GROW closer to God, my eyes will be open to see more and more of Christ’s presence around me. I have the same prayer for St. John’s in 2015 … that we all GROW in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
I encourage you all to take a little time to pray about a focus word for 2015. You never know where God may lead you!
Happy New Year!