I love this season, the crisp air, the cool temps, the gorgeous colors, the clear skies, the pumpkins and mums, the harvest parties with bonfires, roasted marshmallows, and steaming mugs of hot cocoa. I love the stunning sunsets and frosty mornings.
I love fall.
But one of my favorite things about this season is taking stock of the past year and preparing for the next. This is the time of year when I begin asking God to confirm what spiritual focus He wants me to have for the coming year.
Click here to read some of the practical ways I tackle this.
In 2005 my focus was cultivating “purity of heart” (Matt. 5:8), and believe me I realized how much I needed a purified heart because that year was filled with refining! As I prepared for 2008 God made it clear “trust” was to be my study focus, and also that this would be the year of taking faith to a deeper level. That certainly held to be true—I faced the threat of cancer three times that year.
Last year my focus was “learning from and resting in Jesus.” My Scripture passage for 2014 was:
[box]”Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly 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]
This year (2015) has been the year of “decreasing” as God led me to focus on how to exalt Christ and intentionally point others to Him:
[box]“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.” (John 3:14–15)[/box]
[box]“He must Increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)[/box]
I’m inviting you to join me in seeking God about what area of spiritual focus He has for us in 2016. We’ve only got a little more than two months left in the year, so it’s not too soon to start asking Him for direction on that.
Here are a few questions you might consider as you seek Him for confirmation:
♥ Is there a passage or book in Scripture that He keeps bringing to mind?
♥ Is there a fruit of the Spirit that you are recognizing you’re in desperate NEED of cultivating?
♥ Is there a topic that keeps surfacing in conversation with others or in your reading that He might be putting before you for study?
♥ Is there a character trait of God that you’re curious or drawn to know more about?
Here are a few suggestions of topics for study:
♥ The life of Jesus through a parallel study of the gospels
♥ The ministry of the Holy Spirit
♥ Spiritual Adoption
♥ The Atonement
♥ The Gospel
The list of topics is endless really because there is no “bottom” when you start plumbing the depths of Scripture!
[box]Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
“For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?”
“Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?”
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:33–36)[/box]
I hope you’ll leave a comment and share with me what your focus of study for 2016 will be!
Will you join me?
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