"We love because He first loved us." — 1 John 4:19
For almost 20 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 focused 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. It was an amazing year of doing the little things, the little Extra, and it made a huge impact. 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 is Beloved—be His Beloved and become His Beloved. Simply put, we first need to “be loved” by God then we can become the Beloved to others! In 1 John 4:19, the apostle John reminds us the order is important, “We love because He first loved us.” His love always comes first. In Ephesians 5:1, Paul also drives home 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.”
First, I desire to experience God’s love, to be close with Him, to not let sin create distance, to feel His presence daily and to walk in love. Then I want to express God’s love, to serve without anything in return and to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Imagine if all us would experience and express God’s love by being the hands and feet of Jesus as we serve our teammates, coaches, friends and family. We could create a lovolution – that’s a love revolution! We first must be God’s Beloved, then we can become God’s Beloved. Be, then become!
- Is it harder for you to experience God’s love or express God’s love? Why?
- Who on your team is it hard to love? Why is it hard to love them? What does this say about you?
- What are ways you can be the hands and feet of Jesus to your teammates and coaches?
Psalm 90:12; Ephesians 5:1-2
Father, thank You for expressing Your love to us. Help us to remember that we are Your beloved. Thank you for showing us how to love others. May we be Your hands and feet as we bless, serve and love others. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.