Instead of a New Year resolution, I have found it beneficial to choose a word to focus on. It is a spiritual practice for me.
Attentive is my word for 2017. The dictionary gives this meaning: heedful, observant, paying attention. The events taking place in the world can be fearful. I want to keep my eyes on the Lord.
I have been musing on the way that Mary, Simeon and Anna were attentive to God’s word and the events taking place around them ( as described in the first two chapters of the gospel of Luke). Mary praised God with faith when the angel told her that she would bear a son. Simeon and Anna were there when Jesus was presented at the temple in Jerusalem for consecration. Simeon was watching and waiting for the promise of a Savior and praised God for the salvation that would come through Jesus. Anna gave thanks to God.
I am encouraged by the faith and hope Mary, Simeon and Anna displayed. They did not doubt the sovereignty of God! The words of the Psalms were real to them.
My heart is steadfast, O God: I will sing and make music with all my soul.
Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn.
I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the people.
For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and let your glory be over all the earth. Psalm 108: 1-5
There are three ways that I can actively be attentive.
- Study God’s word. I am delighted that one of the gifts we received for Christmas is a devotional that will take us through the Psalms, The Songs of Jesus by Timothy Keller.
- Spend time in prayer. I do pray, but I can increase the time praying and listening.
- Seek the Lord in loving others. We live in a divisive culture and I need the Lord’s direction in showing His love.
May God guide you through 2017. Thanks for visiting!