Ever since 2002, I have asked Jesus to give me a verse for the new year.
It is a message from His heart to mine that sets the tone for the year to come. I begin asking Him to show me that verse in December and He is always faithful to show it to me over and over again in a variety of settings (a book, a sermon, a devotional, etc.). I marvel at the end of the year when I see how perfect that verse was for me in light of how those 365 unfolded. Those eternal words that Jesus breathed into my soul were the light I needed for my path, the strength to carry on, the power to keep the faith, the comfort for the dark days.
The verse that Jesus gave me for 2012 is this:
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. (Mark 12:30).
Easy to read. Easy to say. Easy to memorize.
Hard to live.
Bible teacher Beth Moore has often said that for some instances in life, Jesus says to us, “I am requiring 100% of you on this one.”
That is exactly what He is asking me for this year.
I will gladly give it to Him. He has given His all for me. He is LORD. He has purchased me with His own precious blood. My life is not my own. It is wholly and completely His to do with as He will.
Shortly after Jesus gave me my verse for 2012, my dear friend Su sent me an email entitled “Just One Word” by Don Britton:
“…it is incredible how many verses in the Bible include the phrase ‘one thing’…in the same way that Scripture uses these words, God wants us to strip it all away and ask Him, ‘What is Your will for my one-word theme this year?’
He goes on to write: “For me, this one word exercise, in its simplicity, has become a focal point throughout the year. It helps bring clarity into a very complex world…that word will brand you for life! Every day, you will be blessed as you experience God revealing to you powerful truths about your one-word theme. Everywhere you turn there will be new insights and valuable lessons associated with that word. ”
After reading that, I looked at the verse that Jesus had given me and it was obvious: my word for 2012 would be ALL.
Jesus wants all of me.
I will give my all to Him…my mind, my time, my emotions, my strengths, my weaknesses, my talents, my heart.
I will treasure all my days.
I will make the most of all my opportunities.
I will love all the people who cross my path with His love that He so willingly pours into my heart.
I will do all things to His glory.
I will choose to trust Him in all circumstances that He allows me to experience.
I will attempt to know all I can about Jesus this year.
I will do all He asks me to do—no questions, no hesitation, no doubting.
I will do this one moment, one choice at a time. No, I will not do it perfectly but I will live this year with purpose and intention.
I have nothing to lose. I can only gain Jesus. And He is everything.
What about you? Would you consider asking Jesus to give you a one-word theme for 2012?
Make this year count for eternity.