In November, I challenged us to begin seeking God about what our focus of study should be for 2014. Today, I’m really excited to tell you what my focus for this year will be and I’m more than ready to dive in!
Through the years, my yearly study topic has been on things like: prayer, purity of heart, kindness, trust, or humility. I’ve never devoted an entire year to focusing on a member of the godhead, until last year’s study of the Holy Spirit. It was rich. So, I was really pumped when my study focus was confirmed this year and I found out that I’d be studying the second person of the Trinity!
Jesus is going to be my focus for the year!
Now, don’t get me wrong. Whenever we focus on a topic or portion of Scripture, Jesus should always be in the forefront. We can discover Him on every page of Scripture, in every book, He is the primary character, sometimes He’s a bit hidden under a metaphor or disguised in a “Christ-type” individual, but He’s there.
What I mean by “Jesus being my focus” is that I’m going to look at Him more closely. I’m going to study Him and His role in my life in-depth. I’m going to come up close and “learn from Him” (Matt. 11:28–30). I’m going to watch Him intently in the gospel of Matthew. In the forty days leading up to Easter, I’m going to take the challenge of preparing myself to go to the garden of Gethsemane with Him and then onto the cross.
This fall, I’ve been doing an in-depth study in the book of Matthew and I’m only in chapter 13, so my focus on Jesus will dovetail perfectly with that. In fact, it was while I was studying Matthew that the Lord confirmed 2014’s study focus with this passage:
[box]Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. (Matthew 11:28–30)[/box]
I love it!
Jesus clearly and graciously invites us to come up close and personal. To come close and learn . . . not platitudes or rigorous lists . . . but to learn from Him. To learn what He has for us individually and corporately. To learn Him, to know Him in a more intimate and personal level.
I’m excited, can you tell?
I’ve gathered a few books to work through this year that will enhance the study:
Jesus the King: Understanding the Life and Death of the Son of God by Timothy Keller
Abide in Christ by Andrew Murray
The Suffering Savior by F. W. Krummacher (This is a perennial favorite of mine, I often use it for devotional meditations in the weeks before Easter)
Not by Sight: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Walking by Faith by Jon Bloom and John Piper
Encounters with Jesus: Unexpected Answers to Life’s Biggest Questions by Timothy Keller
So, that’s what I’ll be focusing on this year. I’m so excited that I actually “cheated a bit” and started the last couple of weeks in December! I hope to share some with you from the overflow of what He’s teaching me.
What about you?
What will be your focus of study this year?