Tomorrow I will share my Goals for 2016. They will be my comprehensive spiritual, business, and family goals, but I wanted to focus today on what was the most important part of my life. If the spiritual part of your life is shoved aside, everything else suffers. I have seen this truth once again this year. Last year, I started blogging my devotions to help me stay on track with my spiritual goal of having daily time in God’s Word. I did okay with this goal until I started working full-time in August. Then I no longer had time to blog my devotions, and my devotions got shoved to the side many days.
In a lifestyle that I had to adopt, devotions is not one thing that can be afforded to be shoved aside. Working (or being gone from the house) from 7:15 am – 5:30 p.m., then all the housework, schoolwork, teaching responsibilities to still be done at night time, and then my online business to be done after kids go to bed make for very late nights, little sleep, and sometimes short tempers. It’s been a huge lifestyle change for me — and for my kids. They often have meltdowns and it’s been an adjustment for them too. We all need God’s grace and help. We need Him to keep our attitudes sweet, our priorities right, and our actions correct. Daily time with Him should be our #1 priority. As a family, we have not neglected our family devotion time at night. But my personal time has been neglected.
So in 2016, I need Him more than ever. I think that can be said every year. Many times, God will allow circumstances in our lives partly to show us our need of Him. My husband and I were comfortable before. We knew we needed Him, but did we live like we needed Him? This year, it’s obvious we need Him — every day!
So if I had to choose one word for this year, I would choose the word:
There are several desires I have for my kids:
- For them to display a love for the Lord
- For them to desire to be in God’s Word
- For them to love each other and to be kind to each other
- For them to have a servant’s heart
- For them to sensitive to the leading of the Lord
- For them to have a good work ethic
I can share these desires with my kids, but unless I live them, it is unlikely that they will catch the vision. It needs to be caught more than taught. It needs to be demonstrated every day in my life. I need the Lord’s help. I need to be in His Word.
I knew that for me to stay consistent this year, I needed a devotional that is short yet effective. More quality over quantity. My time is limited, but I can make time! So I went back to explore what YouVersion had to offer. I used to use YouVersion a few years ago for my daily devotions. There are several plans available, but I chose to do the Day by Day With Billy Graham for this year because it will go all year (not just 30 days). It has a short devotional, and a verse that goes along with it. When I click on the verse, it takes me to the whole chapter of the Bible that the verse if from, so I read the chapter and meditate on the entire chapter. So far it has been perfect for me. It gets me thinking on a topic and gives me a chapter of the Bible to read. Sometimes the devotional really makes me think; other times the devotional has not been that impacting, but the Bible reading is just what I needed.
Here are some excerpts from this past week:
We should take time to be pleasant, to smile, to extend the small courtesies we often omit—to show love to our family. Let us take time to get acquainted with our families. We are not machines. We are not robots. The secret of a happy home is that members of the family learn to give and receive love.
Philippians 3:13 — Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
I need to make sure that I take time for my kids and husband even in those busy, stressful days. I need to be content and happy in the life that I am living right now, knowing that God knows what is best for me.
Some time ago a policeman asked me what the secret of victorious living was. I told him that there is no magic formula that can be pronounced. If any word could describe it, I would say surrender. The second word I would say would be devotion. Nothing can take the place of a daily devotional life with Christ. Your quiet time, your prayer time, the time you spend in the Word, is absolutely essential for a happy Christian life. You cannot possibly be a happy, dynamic, and powerful Christian apart from a daily walk with Christ. Christ is calling Christians today to cleansing, to dedication, to consecration, and to full surrender. It will make the difference between success and failure in your spiritual life. It will make the difference between being helped and helping others. It will make a difference in your habits, in your prayer life, in your Bible reading, in your giving, in your testimony, and in your church membership.
Psalm 63:1 — O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;
This is exactly what I had been burdened about recently: the need to be in God’s Word.
4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.John 15
Again, I need to abide in God and in His Word. Then I will have His joy!
1The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
4One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.
8When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.
13I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
14Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
I want to seek His face. This year, we are waiting on Him. Waiting on His direction. He will strengthen our hearts when we seek Him and wait on Him.
So will you help me this year? We all need to be in His Word. We need Him.! We need to have DEVOTION to Him. Come back here every Thursday and share with me what you got from His Word this week — and I’ll share with you what I learned from being in His Word as well!
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