I want my days to mean something, not just in what I do, although that’s important, but in who I am. I figure if I get the ‘who I am in Christ’ worked out, the ‘what I do’ will take care of itself.
I’ve lived a lifetime from the outside in always searching for the next thing, looking outside of myself to find happiness. Only after the death of my dearest friend did I learn to stop. To appreciate. To love and to accept love.
Once we learn the magnitude of who we are in Christ, in the Holy Spirit, of the Holy Spirit, we discover what life really is all about.
As our days continue, we should strive to focus first on our insides. Spirit. Emotion. Love. The outward activities in life otherwise take hold and take over. They cover up the happiness and joy we are meant to know by stressing us out, causing us to become tired or angry, or feel inept.
Only through intentional effort can we maintain focus. This year, I plan to work each month on the inner me. As I mentioned already, when we do that, focus on who we are, the outside things tend to fall in place.
Let’s start here:
*January – New Year, A New Creation
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
What better time to talk about new creations than the start of a new year when people are making resolutions. Instead of resolutions, consider just making an intentional effort to grow closer to God. We don’t have to wait until January 1 to become new creations. Every moment we choose to recognize the love that is God within us and to live that love we are becoming new.
*February – All About Love
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Without love, we have nothing. No, I’m not talking about the chocolate giving, stuffed animal cuddling love (although those things are nice). I mean the full, unconditional love that is God for us and within us. While Valentine’s Day is fun, let’s remember the whole truth of God’s love for us and our call to love others in the same way. What can you do in His love this month?
*March – Planting for the Harvest
Matthew 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”
As we grow together in Christ, let us take the ‘weeds’ of our lives and burn them, making more room for even more nourishment and growth in Him.
*April – Christ is Risen!
Luke 24:6-7 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ”
I am an Easter Christian celebrating the resurrection of Christ and His rising in me each moment that I acknowledge Him and allow Him to guide my life. How do you know the story of the resurrection not just as something to read about but as something that happens within you throughout your days?
*May – The Secret of the Kingdom of God
Mark 4:3-20 “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear. ”When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’”Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? The farmer sows the word. Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”
Which are you? Are you producing a crop? If not, why not? What steps can you take to understand and grow from Jesus’ parable?
*June – Take Time to Rest
Hebrews 4:9-11 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.
It seems when I ask a friend or co-worker how they’re doing, their first answer always has to do with being busy. “I’m so busy,” they say. “Ohh, I have so much to do.” or “Busy, busy, busy” (that one’s my favorite). We take pride in how much we do; it’s become something of a status symbol. But Hebrews 4 tells us we should make every effort to rest else we may perish. How can we do God’s work if we’re too worn out? We can’t. Where do you need to cut back today in order to rest and refresh?
*July – God and Patriotism
Romans 13:1-5 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
In the United States, July 4 is a time for fireworks and burgers on the grill. Where I live, a huge carnival comes to town complete with rides, cotton candy, and games. Let’s not forget in our celebrations to remember what we are celebrating – our country. No matter which political party we support, it’s important we are encouraging and positive about whomever gets elected to office.
*August – Shelter from the Heat
Isaiah 4:6 It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.
The Lord will create a canopy to shelter us from the heat. Take a look at this scripture spiritually and not just literally. What ‘heat’ are you facing? How has God sheltered you from the worst of it?
*September – The Best Kind of Labor Day
John 6:27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life,which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
Of course we have to work to make a living; we need to provide food, shelter, and clothing. It’s even important to work for things that bring us enjoyment. However, when we get wrapped up in working and working just to make more and more money or to buy more and more things, we’ve lost sight of the true purpose for our lives. Let’s focus our efforts on working towards those things that spread God’s love. In which areas will you direct your time and attention?
*October – Time for the Harvest
Luke 10:2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
In the spring, we planted for the harvest. Now, the time has come to gather all together in God’s name. I’ve never been one comfortable inviting people to church and maybe you aren’t either (if you are, God bless you!), but there are other ways we can harvest people for Christ. Donate items, serve at a soup kitchen, be patient and kind, be vocal that you are happy because you know the real joy that comes from God. How do you harvest now? What more can you do?
*November – Giving Thanks
Psalm 100:4-5 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;his faith fulness continues through all generations.
I’ve always found it easy to appreciate the ‘big’ things in my life: good health, nice home, great kids, extended family. When I participated in a Bible study over Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts, I learned to take note of the small things, too. In my post 40 Little Things I’m Thankful For, I shared just some of them. The list, though, is endless. And the great thing about noticing and appreciating the little things? When you’re that busy appreciating, there’s no time for all the negative thoughts and emotions that like to sometimes takeover. What little things are you thankful for?
*December – A Baby’s Birth
Isaiah 9:6-9 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
And we’re back to new creations in the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. While we celebrate a new year in only a month, we now celebrate a new life, for us and within us. Christ was born. Christ is born in us every moment we live in love. Amen.
Love in Him,
All these scriptures about goals are from Biblegateway and are from the New International Version (NIV)
This post is part of a huge collaboration of bloggers working to help you make 2015 your best year ever! Check out all the posts below for motivation and inspiration!
1. How to Set and Keep Goals to Make This the Best Year Ever | Jen @ Girl in Garage
2. 15 Ways to Stay Organised at Work During 2015 | Elizabeth Harrin @ A Girl’s Guide to Project Management
3. How Personal Style Will Help You Achieve Goals Faster in 2015 | Cherene Francis @ Aura Image Consulting
4. Completing Those Unfinished Projects in the NEW YEAR | Angela Lerew @ Unexpected Elegance
5. 42 Ways to Practice Perfectly & Become an Expert at Almost Anything | Amy Garro @ 13 Spools
6. Easy Exercises to do on a Cruise Ship | Amanda Woods @ Adventures All Around
7. 10 Simple Ways to Eat Healthier This Year | Dawn @ Reveal Natural Health
8. 31 Days to a More Fabulous You | Julie Bonner @ Mom Fabulous
9. How to Make This the Best Gardening Year Ever | Kendra Spencer @ a Sonoma Garden
10. 5 Ways to Make this Your Best Monarch Season…Ever! | Tony Gomez @ Monarch Butterfly Garden
11. 12 Scriptures for Goals and Guidance | Julie @ Loving Christ Ministries
12. How to Build a Starter Emergency Fund in 30 Days or Less | Jackie Beck @ The Debt Myth
13. Family Verse of the Week Challenge for 2015 | Jamie Yonash @ Life is Sweeter By Design
14. Hot Work at Home Jobs for 2015 | Holly Hanna @ The Work at Home Woman
15. A Year of Intention | Hilary Bernstein @ Accidentally Green
16. 2015: Our Best Year Yet | Ashley @ Leaving the Rut
17. Create a Better Life Story | Bronwen Warner @ Tummy Time and Beyond
18. Get Ready to Get MDfit | Tom and Anne @ Eat & Be Fit
19. 5 Free Ways to Learn Something New This Year | Sarah Fuller @ Earning and Saving with Sarah Fuller
20. Healthy Leek Soup | Mirlandra @ Mirlandra’s Kitchen
21. Health Resolutions: Baby Steps to a New You | Ellen Christian @ Confessions of an Overworked Mom
22. 5 Ways Busy Moms Can Get Motivated to Work Out | Diane Nassy @ philZENdia
23. Be Prepared for the New Year | Jennifer Dunham Starr @ The Memory Journalists
24. 3 Steps to a Healthier Life in 2015 | Joe Goodwill @Average Joe Cyclist
25. New Year’s Resolution: Cook More Often! | Kim Pawell @ Something New for Dinner
26. I Should What? 28 Ways to be Happier | Karen Young @ Hey Sigmund
27. 9 Ways to Get Healthier In The New Year | Amy Maus @ Home and Farm Sense
28. In 2015 Resolve to Take Control of Your Money | Kristia @ Family Balance Sheet
29. Eucharisteo: A Year of Thanksgiving | Lani Padilla @ Simply Fresh Vintage
30. No More Tears at IEP Meetings: Make This Your Best Year Ever! | Lisa Lightner @ A Day In Our Shoes
31. Learn to Save Money on Groceries | Melissa Buckles @ Everyday Savvy
32. How to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolution – For Real This Time! | Michelle @ Dishes and Dust Bunnies
33. 52 Weeks to a Better You: Week 1 – Go to Bed Early | Mindi Cherry @ Moms Need to Know
34. Food Street: How a Community Has Joined Forces to Start a Street Farm | Sam Walker @ Bubble ‘N Squeak
35. Organizing Coupons with the Binder Method | Sara Steigerwald @ Sisters Shopping on a Shoe String
36. How to Make This Year the Happiest Yet | Shambray @ Shambray.com
37. A New Year, A New You | Sharon Rowe @ How to Get Organized at Home
38. 5 Ways to Get Paid for Losing Weight This Year | Anna @ Real Ways to Earn Money at Home
39. Tips for Successful Whole30 | Deanna Michaels @ From This Kitchen Table
40. 75 Ways to Be Healthier in 2015 | Maryea Flaherty @ Happy Healthy Mama
41. How to Make 2015 the Best Year Ever! | Jennifer @ My Boys & Their Toys