A Plea for Personal Revival + Bible Reading Challenge

What is it you want most?

I’m not talking a million dollars or a house that isn’t falling apart… I’m talking eternal, God-given desires that matter most, such as deeper intimacy with Him, wisdom to love and manifest Christ to your family, or the peace that passes understanding.

I’m working my way through Grace Goals and this is a question asked in Workshop One. I’ve mulled it over and know what I want most is a vibrant, pure, authentic relationship with God that sets me apart and spills over and transforms every aspect of my life.

And here’s what I know:

That won’t happen by spending time on social media. I won’t get it listening to, reading, or consuming everyone else’s abundance of words, everyone’s mediocrity. The path to a rich and meaningful 2017 is a narrow one… and there will be few that find it this year.

I want to be one of the few, how about you?

So let me ask a tough question: What is the greatest distraction to you fulfilling this desire? What do you need to lay down so you can experience intimacy with Christ?

The Lord pressed a verse on my heart for the coming year. Zechariah 1:3 says, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Return to Me,” declares the Lord of hosts, “that I may return to you,” says the Lord of hosts.

Return.

That’s my word for 2017. It isn’t exciting or fancy. It’s narrow. Hard. Demanding. But this word promises great gain and true life.

It’s the door to personal revival.

I once heard Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth say, “The pace of ministry has outraced the pace of intimacy in my life.”

When she shared this with a friend, her friend advised, “Remember your sacred areas and keep them inviolate. Your calling card is your walk with God. If you lose that, you don’t have a ministry.”

I’m where Nancy was a few years ago and it’s time for that to change.

My Grace Goal for 2017 is to “return” to spending at least an hour alone with the Lord every morning before anything else.

Truth is, I just need Jesus.

As much as I love all the plans, dreams and goals being shared this time of year (nothing wrong with it either!) … and as tempting as it is to create some myself… I must take a quieter path, a hidden, solitary route… the narrow path.

Return.

I don’t know all that’s in store for 2017 but trust it includes personal revival, deeper biblical literacy, fervent, effective prayer, and impacting others with the gospel.

Each month I hope to have a simple Bible reading plan to share. You can download this month’s Bible Reading Challenge on Personal Revival below.

Need a fresh start? Take this 30-Day Personal Revival Bible Reading Challenge

Click Here to Download the Personal Revival Bible Reading Challenge

Do you have a word for 2017? If so I’d love to hear it!

Here’s to a Christ-filled year.

AJ

 

 

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9 Comments

  1. I am still open to receiving my word and my verse for 2017, last year it was Ephesians 4:6 and I rally needed to hold that verse during the year thank you for your encouraging words

  2. My word this year is contend. In fact, it was going through Grace Goals that finally revealed my word, and it was the verse in Deuteronomy 2 that has become my verse. I finally feel like God has brought me to my “promised land,” but as someone who doesn’t like hard or uncomfortable, He is pressing on my hear that I will need to fight for that land. I won’t be able to just stroll on in and pitch my tent. It’s going to take some serious contending. So, that is my word. It makes me both excited and very nervous, as well, because I am naturally rather wimpy. I just keep reminding myself that it isn’t my strength that will be needed – it’s God’s!

  3. This year is the first year I have chosen to pray for a verse to be given to me for the year. I finished the entrusted study before the holiday season and one verse just keeps coming back to my heart. 2 Timothy 1:2 “To Timothy, my beloved [b]son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” Grace, mercy and peace. All three of these seem more than perfect as l look forward to the plans that have already started to unfold but as I have learned quickly in theses four days I need to remember to apply them to myself as well as others.

  4. My word for 2017 is blessing. First I want to be a blessing back to God for all the blessings He has given me. 2nd to be a blessing to my husband who has been loyal in the face of many years of illnesses and to my children. 3rd and the one I am most excited about is to daily see who God wants me to bless among friends or strangers. I want to be Christ’s mouthpiece or His hands and feet to minister grace and encouragement.

  5. I found your bible reading plan clicking around various accounts on instagram. I’ve been reading it daily since Jan 1. Today I came to your site to find a printable link to add to my word of the year binder and I’m so glad I did! Your words impacted me greatly! My word this year is Build. My biggest area to work on is building a closer relationship with God. Your word, Return, evoked in me an image (I’m a visual person) that will stick with me through my building process.

    I also see a few other things I want to click around and read. Thank you for sharing what God has given you.

  6. I have done this know for the past couple of years, and I enjoy it because it keeps you accountable for something you want to accomplish. I don’t have a word for this year, I have a one line word: Finish what I start.
    I tend to jump around, and this year I am going to try and not do that.

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