What’s Your Word?

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1 
Do you have a “Word of the Year?” A couple of years ago, a dear friend began to challenge us to choose, and live into, a word for each year. It’s amazing, when you choose one, how the Lord brings this word to mind in ways that cannot be explained. I will not delay further in sharing my “word” for this year - “available.”  

I want to become hyper-focused on my availability. I want to be available to hear the Spirit of the Lord in my heart and in my mind.  I want to create space on my calendar to be available for family and friends, including my church family. I have a desire to be available to things I do not understand, so that the Lord can teach me throughout these experiences. I want to thrive in my days and not just survive them.  
John 1:1 tells us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  Clearly, the gospel writer is not writing about his “word of the year,” but this scripture verse is very powerful and speaks to how we are able to learn more about the way God moves in our lives. It is normal to have questions about the things going on around us, and studying the Word of God allows us to discern what the Lord is trying to teach us about our questions. 

In this new year, I pray you will discover your “word.” I also pray in your discovery, you will seek the Lord and know that God cares very much about your journey. 

Posted by Betsy Butler
Tags: devotion

Take the First Step

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 

6 year old Ruby Bridges broke down barriers as she stepped into William Frantz Elementary School escorted by four U.S. marshals. She spent the first day in the principal’s office where no one spoke to her or her mother. As the first black child to attend and desegregate an all white school in the south, Ruby showed us how faith works. She had a child’s perspective trusting that what she was doing was right. Her parents knew what was at stake, but all Ruby knew was that she was going to school. What she discovered in later life was that “When you start a new path equipped with courage, strength and conviction, the only thing that can stop you, is you!” Her life has been full of heartache and triumph. She has clung tight to her faith through all of the ups and downs observing, “the more faith is tested, the stronger it gets.” 

The new year is already here and unfolding quickly. By the time you read this devotional, the National Championship for college football will be over and a new champion will be crowned. I have no idea who it will be, but I hope the Bulldogs won. Even if they didn’t I’m a fan forever. If they did, you can bet I’m thrilled. It’s fun to be a fan, but it doesn’t compare to being a follower. Ruby Bridges needed extraordinary help and encouragement to do what she did. I’m thankful she took that first step trusting like little children do and I’m thankful she kept walking in the way that leads to eternal life. Monday is Martin Luther King’s birthday. He once said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” I want to pause and give thanks for followers of Jesus like Ruby and Martin and all those who show us how faith works. Our faith in God gives us the chance to grow in ways that make the world a better place. Take the next first step and see what God can do! 

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