This is my 4th year doing My One Word. I must say – This is NOT a Self Help Word to a changed heart or living.
As I review the book by Mike Ashcraft & Rachel Olsen, it reconvicted my heart on the Word for me this year.
Contrary to the common tagline used ‘God helps those who help themselves’, they provided a clear biblical principle.
”God doesn’t help those who help themselves. God helps those who abide with him, those who walk with him in faith. Our efforts were never an impetus for God’s transforming grace. They won’t be the impetus for our changed hearts either.
The Bible says that we are justified by faith. We don’t need willpower or self-effort as much as we need faith that God will accomplish in us and for us what we can’t do for ourselves. He is the source of what we long for and need.
Our efforts are not the source of the change we are after; they can’t be. Rather, they get us in a position for God to change us.”
Like a torn tendon in the archilles, ‘All we could do is set it (in cast) and hold it in position long enough for it to grow back together as God intended.’ God will be the one who heals and change our hearts through this One Word.
In order to really gain a deeper understanding of this One Word, I strongly suggest going through My One Word by Mike Ashcraft & Rachel Olsen.
I started praying and seeking God for My One Word in November hols. After reflections on 2017, I realised there were aplenty of fears over future burdens in the family, the horrid fear of losing my loved ones and the fear of broken relationships.
Recent sermons and scripture readings all pointed to 2 areas that I needed to grow in.
Christmas 2017 flooded me with God’s Peace. It was the son of God – Jesus who became flesh to BE WITH US. To redeem us from our sins. To reconcile us to God. To have Peace with God. At a personal level, I was in need of peace in my relationship between 2 loved ones. The first I need peace of God to fill me and empower me to love. The latter I need prayer and strategies to connect into his growing world.
Isaiah 9:6New International Version (NIV)
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.
Christmas Day devotional reading – Matthew 1:18-25
23* “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”- which means, “God with us.”
以 赛 亚 书 9:6-7
6 因 有 一 婴 孩 为 我 们 而 生 ， 有 一 子 赐 给 我 们 。 政 权 必 担 在 他 的 肩 头 上 。 他 名 称 为 奇 妙 ， 策 士 ， 全 能 的 神 ， 永 在 的 父 ， 和 平 的 君 。
7他 的 政 权 与 平 安 必 加 增 无 穷 。 他 必 在 大 卫 的 宝 座 上 ， 治 理 他 的 国 ， 以 公 平 公 义 使 国 坚 定 稳 固 ， 从 今 直 到 永 远 。 万 军 之 耶 和 华 的 热 心 ， 必 成 就 这 事 。
Isaiah 41: 10, 13.
10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
13 For I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.
以 赛 亚 书 41:10,13
10你 不 要 害 怕 ， 因 为 我 与 你 同 在 。 不 要 惊 惶 ， 因 为 我 是 你 的 神 。 我 必 坚 固 你 ， 我 必 帮 助 你 ， 我 必 用 我 公 义 的 右 手 扶 持 你 。
13因 为 我 耶 和 华 你 的 神 ， 必 搀 扶 你 的 右 手 ， 对 你 说 ， 不 要 害 怕 ， 我 必 帮 助 你 。
The month of December’s devotion was on Hebrews. Confidence was a constant word that appeared repeatedly.
Heb 4:16, 6:9, (also revisited 6:19 on God being the anchor of my soul) thereby giving me confidence, 10:19,18:35 and
13:6 ‘So we say with confidence, ” The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
In fact I was still praying and deciding on which word to choose. I had asked God for a clear confirmation.
On Sunday, the sermon’s unexpected word Immanuel resonated deeply within. I realised prior to this, I had considered using the word ‘With’ or ‘Help’. As with God’s help, I can have peace and confidence!
God with us. Immanuel became My One Word.
It is not about having a peace of mind or heart. It is not about being confident to face the future.
It is for me to learn to depend on God. To be assured of HIS PRESENCE and Jesus’ work that was done on the cross. With Jesus by my side, I need not fear. With the fear of the Lord, I can be confident in having the peaceful relationships with others, especially my loved ones whom I am struggling with. Like the drawing, God’s almighty righteous Right Hand will strengthen me to do my daily tasks even as simple as squeezing lemon juice. Even in the sour struggles of life, He will help me through and make lemonades out of lemons, helping me conquer and overcome all my fears.
Immanuel. God With Us.
He is with you too. Are you willing to stay by His side and abide in Him together?
May we go forth with peace and confidence this new year!
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