The New Year is upon us and we are choosing our ONE WORD for the year. We are making resolutions. We are energized and committed to making this the best year yet. We have purchased all the planners and journals and we are ready to go and conquer whatever this year holds. I am right there with you, my friend.
Every year, instead of making resolutions, I choose ONE WORD to focus my year on. That ONE WORD helps me to focus my goals, direct my Bible study, and keep me centered throughout the year. I started ONE WORD in 2015 and I have seen God move mightily in my life each year. Even though the last three years of my life have been the worst years of my life, God used my word for the year, and my focus on that word to help me to handle life’s ups and downs with class, grace, and peace. Even in the worst of circumstances, God used my word to show me that in all things, He is strong and faithful.
When I started my ONE WORD, I also picked a verse for the year to go along with the word. I meditated on that verse throughout the year. I printed it out. I made wallpapers of the verse for my computer and phone. I read commentaries and studied out the verse for the year.
Proverbs 7:1-3 says, “My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.”
Proverbs 7:1-3 is my purpose behind choosing a ONE verse each year. So that I can keep the commandments of the Lord and live. So that His teachings are forever written on the tablet of my heart.
MY WORDS and VERSES through the years.
2015: PERFECTION was my word. My verse was, Matthew 5:48, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” What a year 2015 was as I walked in perfection. God removed A LOT from my life that wasn’t in His perfect will, and He added so much to my life that mirrored His perfection.
2016: JOY was my word. My verse was Nehemiah 8:10b, “And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” 2015 was such a difficult year that in 2016 I wanted to focus on finding joy in all circumstances; even the difficult ones.
2017: PURPOSE was my word for 2017. My verse was found in Habakkuk 2:1-3, “I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint. And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” The Lord moved mightily in 2017 as my purpose became very clear. He gave me direction, and He made the vision plane.
2018: HEALING is my word for 2018. My verse is found in Isaiah 61:1-4, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;”. This year, I need God to heal my mind, body, and soul. The last seven years have taken their toll on me, and I am believing for the Lord’s divine healing on my life.
HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR VERSE
As you can see, choosing ONE WORD and ONE VERSE for the year has brought me great strength and focus. I would love to share with you my process for choosing my ONE VERSE. Perhaps it will inspire you to choose your own for the year.
1. START WITH PRAYER
Before you choose your ONE VERSE, start with prayer, and then pray continually that the Lord puts upon your heart the verse He wants you to focus on. The verse you choose may not come in an overly spiritualized setting. It may come to your heart while you are doing dishes or watching TV or sitting in church. Just be sure to pray and seek the Lord as to what He wants your verse to be.
2. START ANYTIME
One of my favorite authors is Lara Casey. This woman is a rockstar and I just love her. When it comes to setting goals and making resolutions, Lara says, “There is nothing special about January.”. If you are reading this post in July, start today! If you are reading this post in November, start now. There is nothing special about January when it comes to choosing your ONE VERSE. Start today. Choose today. Commit to your verse today.
3. START WITH ONE WORD
If you already have your ONE WORD for the year, start there. Grab a concordance and search out your One Word in the Scriptures. You can find a free copy of the concordance I use HERE. Read the Scriptures pertaining to your One Word and see if the Lord moves on your heart to pick one. Once you have one that stands out to you, pray about it, write it down, and read it a few times. If it sits well in your spirit, that’s your verse.
4. START WITH A BRAINSTORM SESSION
Grab a piece of paper and brainstorm words, phrases, quotes, gratitudes, sorrows, strengths, positive moment, hopes, prayers, etc. Just take ten minutes and write. After you’ve written your heart out, look for common words, ideas, or phrases. Use the concordance I mentioned in the previous step and search out the Scriptures. See if something jumps out at you and then pray on that verse.
5. START WITH A VERSE, THEN CHANGE IT (If you wish.)
Although I do choose a verse for the year, I don’t choose a “life verse” (a verse that is the cornerstone of my life). Seasons change. Situations change. What helped me through a season of life in 1999, may not pertain to my season of life today. So I pick a verse at the start of my year, but if the Lord moves on my heart to change it, I do. If He decides to take me in a direction and gives me a new focus, I change the verse.
6. START WITH THE CONTEXT
Make sure when choosing your ONE VERSE that you understand the context of the verse. For example, lots of folks choose Philippians 4:13, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” It is a powerful verse, but in context, it takes on a different meaning. In Philippians 4, Paul was writing about God’s provision in the direst of circumstances. This verse isn’t a promise that God will strengthen us to do whatever we want to do. It is a promise that in the middle of the most difficult times of your life, God will give you the strength to overcome. Remember to make sure you understand the context of the verse you choose.
7. START WITH A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING . . .
That “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) Remember that “The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12) ONE VERSE focuses me on what God wants to do in my life for the season I am in, but I am sure not to neglect the rest of the Scriptures. I am sure to continue studying the Word knowing that it is alive and active.
Our Father is so gracious to us. His Word is our life manual by which He gives us the direction of life. I am so grateful that He is with us in the best of times, and He guides us through the worst of times. No matter what life throws at you today, His Word is alive and active, and if you allow it, will work wonders in your life.
YOUR TURN: I would love to hear your ONE VERSE. Share it with us in the comments below.