My Word for the Year

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Teach me your ways, O LORD, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me the purity of heart, so that I may honor you. —Psalm 86:11, NLT

Do you choose a word for the year, a word that defines your focus for the next twelve months? While I do not do it every year, this year, I have chosen follow as my word. I want to follow the Lord so closely that everything I do, all that I am, will bring honor to His name. So what does that look like? Jesus gave us a perfect example of what it means to follow. Isaiah paints a beautiful picture of how the Messiah would do this. “He wakens Me morning by morning, He wakens My ear to hear as a disciple [as one who is taught]” (Isaiah 50:4, AMPC).

Though fully God, Jesus was also fully man.

What an incomprehensible mystery! And as a man, He lived in constant communion with His Father, often waking before dawn to meet with His Father in prayer—to listen as a disciple. A disciple is a follower. I want to listen as Jesus did and follow as He did.

The coming of Messiah, portrayed as a shepherd, is one of the most prominent depictions of Christ in the Old Testament. The New Testament captures the fulfillment of this truth. From the symbolism of the sacrificial system to Calvary’s cross, Jesus was both Shepherd and Lamb. He wants His disciples to follow Him as their Shepherd.

“My sheep listen to my voice. I know them and they follow me” (John 10:27, CEB). How do we listen to Jesus’ voice? Just as Jesus listened to His Father’s voice—by spending time in prayer and in the Word. We read His words whenever we open our Bibles, and we see His heart of love toward us and hear His voice—for being in God’s Word is the listening part of prayer. And after we listen, we pour our hearts out to Him.

Thus, quietly, daily, we grow as we listen, and we come to recognize the voice of our Shepherd. “Each morning he awakens me eager to learn his teaching” (Isaiah 50:4, CEV).

My friends, can we decide that by God’s grace, we will meet with Him each morning? To listen. To learn. To come to know His voice. I want to follow Him more closely, listen more carefully, and walk through this year as a disciple who follows her Lord.

Won’t you join me?

Karen Pearson

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