“We love because He first loved us.”
1 John 4:19
For 18 years, I have started the year the exact same way. I have narrowed my focus by developing a One Word vision. That’s right—One Word. Not a phrase, not a statement, I choose just a single word. To this point, it has been nothing short of life changing. This One Word exercise has become a focal point throughout the year by bringing clarity into a very complex world. One Word gives me meaning and mission, power and passion.
Several of my One Words have been Intimacy, Refresh, Serving and Obedience. Can I confess that Obedience was a tough year? Each year is a journey of its own that changes my character, not necessarily my circumstances. It has forced me to live Moses’ prayer in Psalm 90:12, “Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.” Realizing that every day counts and there are no wasted days, I live with purpose and on purpose. One Word provides laser-like focus and eliminates distractions.
Last year, my word was Extra. I desired to go the Extra mile so the ordinary become EXTRAordinary! I wanted to serve, love, give and care a little Extra in 2017. It was an amazing year of doing the little things, the little extra, that made a huge impact. This was evident when I traveled and visited our FCA teammates around the world. Taking Extra resources to equip and taking Extra time to listen were ways that the ordinary became EXTRAordinary. It was not just a good-year but a God-year!
This year, God impressed upon me how I need to experience and express His love. So, my One Word for 2018 is Beloved—be His beloved and become His beloved. In 1 John 4:19, the apostle John reminds us, “We love because He first loved us.” In Ephesians 5:1, Paul also reminds us how God loves us, and we should copy Him, “Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God.”
In 2018, I desire to experience God’s love, to be close with Him, to not let sin create distance and to experience His presence daily. And the other side of the coin is to express God’s love, to serve without anything in return and to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Last year, we witnessed God pouring out His favor and expanding FCA’s reach with 164 leaders in 62 countries—impacting thousands of coaches and athletes. Our vision was being fulfilled as we desired to lead every coach and every athlete in every country into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and in His Church. This year, we can experience and express God’s love by being the hands and feet of Jesus as we serve the nations. Remember, this year can be another God-year not just a good-year!
Father, thank You for loving us and showing us how to love others.
Truly, we are Your beloved. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.