I’ve shared with you before how each year the Lord graciously leads me to adopt a Scripture passage and focus for the year. In case you missed the post where I shared with you what this year’s focus and Scripture passage is, today I’m reposting that below because I want to re-issue the challenge.
We’ve just finished off the first quarter of our year . . . and long about now the excitement of the “New Year’s resolutions” are only a distant and groggy memory.
For those of you who are still applying yourself to your January commitments—let us hear how it’s going and what the key is to persevering!
Maybe you’ve only recently started reading the blog and you’ve never heard of having a spiritual focus for an entire year . . . read on and leave a comment below letting me know if you think making this commitment might be helpful for you!
Recently, I shared with you some thoughts from last year’s Scripture focus. I talked about how I started each day with a prayer from Psalm 143. You can read the four posts on that by clicking here, here, here and here.
Typically 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 my focus for this 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.
Last fall I started an in-depth study in the book of Matthew and today I’m in chapter 25, so this year’s focus on Jesus is dovetailing perfectly with that. In fact, it was while I was studying Matthew in December 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 hope to share some with you from the overflow of what He’s teaching me. Tomorrow, I want to share with you how He’s using that one phrase, “Come to Me” to initiate sweet moments of worship.
What about you?
What will be your focus of study this year?