I usually relish in making plans and goals at the beginning of every year. This year was different. I knew God was calling me to step back and focus on Him and thought that meant laying aside choosing a word or phrase to focus on and making resolutions. I did however feel compelled to research resources that would help me create a more cross-centered heart and home. As I began to make a book list, I realized that the Lord had given me a word to focus on for 2014: Gospel.
I was convicted in several different ways that I have failed to make God and the message of the Gospel a priority in my life last year. I often allowed circumstances to distract me from fixing my eye of the Author and Protector of our faith and rob me of joy. What I failed to do is daily focus my heart and mind on the most important truth.
“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…” -1 Corinthians 15:1-4
In order to preach the Gospel to myself every day, I need to be more intentional (without becoming legalistic) by daily re-focusing my heart and mind. My aim is to have more purposeful, grace-filled days for the glory of God.
Some of the goals I’ve decided on to help me keep my focus on the Gospel this year:
- Spend time in prayer each morning. I want to get back into the habit starting my day with prayer–and more than “Lord, I’m SO tired. Please help me get through the day,” which is what He hears from me quite a bit right now! My desire is to daily commit myself, my family, my home and my ministry to God and seek His guidance on how to intentionally apply the Gospel to my attitude, words and actions through the day.
- Read at least 12 Gospel-centered books through the year. I would like to read one book each month that will help me better understand the Gospel message and aid me in applying it to my everyday life. (I will be sharing my reading list in the next day or two!)
- Study the book of Romans. This will be my focus for my devotions for a large part of the year. I’m not sure how long it will take me to get through it and i don’t want to rush through. I really want to soak up the truths and gain a deeper understanding of the message.
- Memorize 12 Gospel-centered Scripture passages. These will be verses that either specifically mention or explain the Gospel or encourage me to apply it to some area of my life. You will have the opportunity to join me in this as I share the passages with you every month through the Book to Brain Scripture Memory Challenge.
I am looking forward to focusing on the Gospel message this year, allowing it to truly transform my life, and I’m excited to share my journey with you throughout the year.
So tell me…