Getting focused for the JOYful year ahead means that it’s time for me to set my theme. As I’ve mentioned before, writing is my way of explaining life to myself and holding myself accountable. So it’s time for the full reveal of my focus for the year.
Let me provide a little background first. For 2016, I tried hard to stay focused on Intentional JOY. Intentional is the key word, though I’ve definitely talked and wrote more about the JOYful aspect. However, without being intentional or living on purpose, nothing good will take place for anyone.
Think about the good things of your own life for just a minute. Most of them can be tied back to an active part of your will. For example, I enjoyed giving gifts during the Christmas season. Well, that didn’t just happen like some sort of fairytale magic. It took lots of thought, purchases, and planning. All of it was possible because of an intentional skill I began developing back when I was 15 years old. I work. God provides. With an open hand, I intentionally give back (tithes). God blesses me more. I look for additional ways to give (offerings). And so the reciprocal process continues, but it began because I got in tune with the grace of intentional living.
I’ve learned too much and experienced too much of God’s favor for me to walk away from this JOYful way. So I’m going to continue dancing with Intentional JOY this year. Yet, my focus has taken on a Spirit-led expansion.
My focus verse has been the words of Jesus found in John 15:16, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” Nevertheless, over the last quarter of 2016, Romans 14:17-18 has seized my attention. These verses will become my expanded focus for 2017: “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.“
That’s quite an expanded focus and I look forward to learning and growing as I explore the context. My three keywords for 2017 are found there too: Righteousness, Peace, and JOY. The richness of Romans has been enjoyable over the course of my spoken ministry. When viewed as a whole, it would appear that this Pauline epistle is the Holy Spirit’s way of providing us with the constitution of Christianity. Don’t fear, though, I’ll do my best to keep my focus on chapter 14 and specifically the three golden words above.
My encouragement to you today is to get in tune with the grace of intentional living. If you’re not a Christian, then don’t delay. Become one today. If you’ll click this link, it would be my JOY to help you with that.
If you are a Bible-believing, in Jesus’ name praying, and local church-attending Christian, then it’s time for you to set a personal theme for yourself. Don’t drift along in a mindless routine and expect good things to just happen. Place both hands on the wheel of your life and ask our great God and Savior to guide you and give you wisdom from above. You might even decide to get on board with me in this revealed theme, with these verses and key words.
Lastly, I ask you to show me some kindness as a favor? If you’ve already set your theme, please share it in the comments below and let’s encourage one another. And if “a different perspective” has been a blessing to you, would you please pass it along to your friends, fans, and followers, via email and social media? Thanks in advance and since it’s still early enough to do so, I wish you a JOYful New Year!