What Is Your Bible Emphasis for the Year? January 2, 2024

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This week someone asked me, “What is your Bible word for the year?” For many years I have adopted a word, a book, or a truth from Scripture as my watchword for the year. Our dear friend Don Sisk shared that he chose vine and branches this year as a reminder that “Christ is the Vine and I am the branch, and without Him, I can do nothing.”

Life is about emphasis. What you think about, you talk about. What you talk about, you make a priority. What you make a priority matters.

Looking back at 2023…

Last year the Holy Spirit led me to take the words of 1 Corinthians 9:23, “…and this I do for the gospel’s sake” as my theme. I cannot tell you what a help it was to me every week to consider how much of my life was invested in what matters most to Christ! We are all prone to forget, and the Bible is God’s great memory Book. By God’s grace, I want this gospel fervency to continue and increase in the days ahead.

Launching into 2024…

As I have prayed about next steps, God has impressed on my heart the absolute necessity of moving forward in my prayer life. We must have the joyful presence and miraculous power of God. We need definite answers to prayer. As never before, we need to pray.

I have taken as my emphasis this year the often repeated admonition, “Watch and pray.” This principle was first explained by Christ and further developed by Paul. It is found in seed form in the Old Testament and fully developed form in the New Testament. They are connected throughout Scripture and they must be connected in our lives. All of us must learn to watch and pray!

Watch is a word that brings death to the flesh; pray is a word that brings life to the spirit. I am beginning to study through all of the “watch and pray” passages and make notes of what the Holy Spirit is teaching me. Spiritual warfare is real and spiritual vigilance is vital.

  • We must watch for opportunities to pray. Every day, every decision, and every difficulty must be seen as a prayer prompter.
  • We must watch for objects for which to pray. Beyond ritual and routine prayers, deeper than religious cliches, God wants us to pray specifically and trust Him for the miraculous.
  • We must watch for others for whom to pray. There is no limit to the ministry of intercessory prayer. There is no way to overestimate its value. True prayer must never be self-centered. Anything that begins with God will reach to the needs of others.
  • We must watch for opposition in prayer. Everything God ordains, Satan opposes. If we are going to give ourselves to prayer we must guard our hearts from the attacks of the enemy.
  • We must watch for outcomes to prayer. If we are not expecting answers to prayer we are not praying in faith!

Most people watch social media, news reports, and current trends; God’s people must be watchful for spiritual realities. “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer” (1 Peter 4:7).

At the beginning of the year many people make resolutions. While there is nothing wrong with resolutions, they very often begin with what we want. Bible application is better than personal resolution because it helps us concentrate on what God wants for our lives.

God’s Word will help you remember what is eternal and concentrate on what He has for you. Choose a Bible passage or theme for 2024 and ask God to make it a reality in your life. What is your Bible emphasis for the year?

Watch for a prayer prompter each week on our social media platforms. We look forward to sharing prayer promises and principles with you throughout the year. Happy new year!

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1 Comment

  1. Sister April on January 15, 2024 at 9:06 PM

    Thank you so very much, Pastor Pauley! Praying for you and your family continuously.

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