Devotional

Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will. ” –  Jonathan Edwards 

Most New Year’s resolutions are short-lived. Statistically, 50 percent of resolution-makers fail by the end of January and that number jumps to 90 percent by March. So what if, instead of resolutions we decide on one word for the year: seek God for one word this year and then put one verse with it and trust God’s power to make it happen. 

The premise is simple: lose the long list of resolutions―all your sweeping promises to change―and do something about one thing this year instead of nothing about everything. Choose just one word that represents what you most hope God will do in you, and focus on it for an entire year. Allow that word to direct your life and focus your decisions. This single act will force clarity and concentrate your efforts. As you focus on your word over an extended period of time, you position yourself for God to form your character at a deep, sustainable level. Growth and change will result. 

Spend some time thinking about who you want to be. What kind of person do you want to become? Do you want to have the faith of Abraham? The patience of Job?  The courage of Daniel? The Grace of Esther? The Surrender of Mary? The Joy of Paul? The bible is full of people of whose character, for the most part, can be summed up in a single word. What one word do we want to exhibit in our own life?

What is God saying to you this past year?  What area does God want to take hold of in your life and use for His glory? How does God want to position you for the upcoming year? So what will your word be? It may be a word that The Lord has laid in your heart and mind. Maybe that word is bolder as an example; you want to live and speak more boldly for Jesus Christ. 

How badly do you want to be bolder in 2022? Do we want it enough to ask, seek, and knock until God answers? But for that to happen, we cannot be content simply wishing we were bolder all the while staying where we feel safe and relatively comfortable. Boldness is not constant or taken for granted. We need to focus on being bolder. We must keep praying for it whenever we need it. Even the apostle Paul experienced this. “I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.” (Ephesians 6:20). If we want to be bolder we need to incorporate boldness into our daily life. So when opportunities come our way to be bold we are ready to seize that opportunity.  

The one-word exercise brings simplicity and focus. It cuts through the distractions and keeps us focused on what really matters. It has stretched us in all areas: spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, relationally, and financially. God will transform you through this exercise. 

Discussion Questions: 

  1. What’s one thing you would like to change about yourself or accomplish this year?
  2. What’s your one word? How will this word help bring focus to your life?
  3. What verse have you chosen to go with your one word? How does this verse apply to your one word?