Is it too late to say Happy New Year? (don’t answer that) Instead of writing a list of resolutions, I decided to choose a single word to encompass the way I want to live my life throughout 2018 – intentional. I looked up the definition of “intentional,” and all the sources I found came down to this – done by design or done with purpose. I want to live my life purposefully. I want to spend my days knowing that what I’m doing is meaningful and obedient to God’s will. This year my goal is to honor Him with my intentions. How can I live in a way that grows my faith and leads others to the cross? How can I work on prioritizing God in every aspect of my life?
“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” – Matthew 6:33 (ESV)
“In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” – Proverbs 3:6 (NIV)
Being intentional will require a LOT of effort on my part. This includes making the intentional choice to view the tasks on my to-do list as opportunities to serve others, to share the gospel and to worship God.
I WANT TO BE INTENTIONAL WITH MY TIME.
“Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” – Psalm 90:12 (ESV)
Instead of wasting spare time scrolling through social media (because, I mean, who doesn’t?), I want to spend my days doing things that will better myself, or at least make better use of my time. Our days on earth are numbered, and how we spend our days reflects what we value. Am I truly making the most of every day? Am I using my time to build God’s kingdom?
I WANT TO BE INTENTIONAL WITH MY THOUGHTS.
“Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things” – Colossians 3:2 (NIV)
Our thoughts hold the power to drive our emotions, words and actions. When we dwell on something for too long, that can leave room for us to fall into the enemy’s lies. I want to capture any negative thoughts, lies or false hopes that could be clouding my mind, and replace them with the truths of God. Are my thoughts constantly growing me or dragging me down?
I WANT TO BE INTENTIONAL WITH MY WORDS.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up” – Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)
It is so easy for mindless chatter to turn into a gossip trap, but we can’t take back hurtful words. If we’re not careful, the way we speak can cause others, or ourselves, to stumble in their faith. I want to practice being slow to speak, and using my words to speak nothing but truth and love. Do my words encourage and build others up?
I WANT TO BE INTENTIONAL WITH MY RELATIONSHIPS.
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” – John 15:12 (ESV)
Whether you just met someone or you’ve known them your entire life, relationships always have room to grow deeper. I want the conversations I have with people to be more than just surface-level, and the memories I make with them to be noteworthy. I want the relationships I have with others to illustrate the love of Jesus so that others and my own faith may grow. How can I cultivate both old and new friendships? How can I demonstrate God’s love in my relationships?
I WANT TO BE INTENTIONAL WITH THIS BLOG.
“Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples” – Psalm 96:3 (ESV)
Sometimes I catch myself scrambling to write a post because I haven’t in a month… but who’s standard is that? I never promised anyone I would write that often. I want to write each blog post with a purpose; a purpose to reflect Jesus. I want to share my own testimonies with those who I may not have the chance to have a conversation with. Is my primary goal to convey a message from God or write the perfect blog post?
I WANT TO BE INTENTIONAL WITH GOD.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV)
I can’t even count the number of times I’ve hurried through my day, only to skim through whatever passage in the Bible I’m at and squeeze in a quick prayer. I want to read God’s word and follow His will more intently. I want to take time to sit and rest at His feet when I’m feeling rushed. I want to learn from Him and listen to Him. Am I truly seeking God’s character?
I pray that this list encourages you in some way, whether you plan to be more intentional in some aspect of your life or you come up with your own word for 2018 – there are still 11 months left! 🙂
----- LET'S KEEP IN TOUCH -----
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