Well it’s here, the moment we’ve been waiting for. The anticipating the planning … the clock struck 12 and 2015 was born. Welcome. Welcome to the New Year everybody!
Do you make resolutions? Or maybe you set S.M.A.R.T. goals. You know. The goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Limited. Some of you, like me, have adopted one word to live by every day, all year long. I’ve been using the #MyOneWord philosophy since 2011, and so far I have used up #Faith, #Integrity, #Discernment, and this year I am putting #Peace to the test. As much as I would love to have world peace, this word PEACE at a personal level is more life changing than world peace.
Tomorrow, or in my next blog, whenever that occurs, I’m going to talk about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, but today let’s talk about this one word peace and why I chose it as #MyOneWord. By the way, I didn’t think up the one word. It originated, I believe, in a church in North Carolina. I have the story tucked away somewhere and will share it with you, if you ask. For now, thought, let’s talk about having PEACE every day.
- P Prayer becomes the bookends of my day. Begin with prayer and end with prayer. There’s a lot of prayer in between too. You’ve heard that “7 days without prayer, makes one weak?” Well, 7 hours without prayer makes me vulnerable. There’s a little verse in 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 that simply says “Pray continually.” That’s pretty clear all on its own, but that little command is surrounded by verse 16 “Rejoice always” and verses 18 to 24. “Give thanks in all circumstances … Do not quench the spirit … May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you … The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.” Bookends of Prayer
- E Exercise to take care of my physical body. This is a good rule and everybody knows the importance of physical exercise. 1 Corinthians 6:19 says my body is a temple of God. It doesn’t belong to me. I’m not an athlete and marathons are not even a distant aspiration, but every day, somewhere in those 24 hours, I need to get off the couch or out of my chair and exert some energy that’s more than finger exercises on a keyboard. Even more important than physical exercise is spiritual exercise. 1 Timothy 4:8 “Physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come
- A Accountability is a struggle for me. Maybe it is for you too. This is just my opinion, but I think this is the reason why New Year’s Resolutions fail. We know what we want to do, what we should do, so we make ourselves a promise that “I will …. Or I won’t” but then our resolve fails us and we weasel out of accountability. Accountability means I pray about my goals, adjust my plans to God’s purpose, then work the plan to achieve those goals. You know, God says I don’t have to do this alone. I can seek help from another believer to keep me on course and you can too. Look what God says in Hebrews 10:24-25 “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, encouraging one another—“
- C Character is who I am. I remember hearing a motivational speaker one time say “Your character is what you do when you think nobody is watching.” That about sums it up. God wants me to never let down my guard and give into acts of poor character. This includes the friends I choose and the associations I have. This is not my idea, it’s found here in 1Corinthians 15:33. Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” My character needs work every day to enhance my inner life with God’s character so my outer life reflects it. Proverbs 27:19 says “As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.” Nobody wants to suffer, it breaks my heart when I know someone is suffering, but that’s why we have to remember that there is a reason for it. Putting it into perspective of Romans 5:3-5 doesn’t make it easier, but suffering is not without purpose. “We glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.”
- E Encourage. Finally something that comes easy for me. Whether you call it encouragement or kindness or reassurance or inspiring, this final letter E – in my one word, PEACE, God made it easy for me. At birth, God gave me the gift of encouragement. I can take no credit for what comes naturally to me. But with a gift, no matter what it is or the source it came from, a gift is nothing if it’s not used. My gift will grow weak and worthless if I don’t use it. This verse in Romans 14:19 pretty much sums up my responsibility. “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”
Yesterday, I read a lot of year-end posts of bloggers. Most of them knew which of their posts had the most views, which ones had sparked comments, and how many readers, from which countries, had read their blog. They had these amazing statistics and I realized that I had not seen one statistic from my blog. That was an eye opener for me. My sole purpose in blogging is to encourage others. If I encourage one person or, as one blogger’s stats revealed, 290,000 readers, the numbers are immaterial. God says in 1 Timothy 4:14 that I am not to neglect the spiritual gift I have been given. My blog is one method I use to live a life of peace and bring encouragement to others. I’ll let God keep track of my stats.
An appropriate musical presentation by Michael W. Smith – looking for a reason to find a place in this world. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpXMnY_t03M