Bible Verse:  

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

Song:  Ready Set Go – Royal Tailor (Feat. Capital Kings)

By clicking the above song title, you will be directed to a video of our worship song for today.  Hope you enjoy this song selected specifically to go along with our devotion! (Tip:  if you right click on the link it will open in a separate window and you can listen to the song while you read)

New Years resolutions have never worked for me.  Honestly, they just feel like a list of rules, rules that I know I won’t still be following by the end of January.  Why put myself under that kind of pressure?  I think that the word resolution sounds a little bit bossy and ridged anyway, I want to be inspired to make positive changes in my life, not instructed.

Therefore, I decided, about 10 years ago, to choose a word of the year.  I would start praying for a word in late fall and before long a word would start appearing in my life and it would resonate with me and that then becomes my word for the next year.

I think the reason having a word of the year works so well for me is because a word is inspiring, encouraging and just a bit kinder than a resolution.  My word becomes my mantra for the year, it inspires me to make the changes necessary to improve my life and it gives me a purpose.

So, what is my word for 2018?  Well, as you probably have guessed by the title of the devotion, it is Unleashed.

Unleashed:  Cause (a strong or violent force) to be released or become unrestrained. 

I like to find a bible verse to go with my word of the year, so after meditating on what the word means to me, what it will help me accomplish in the coming year and getting a grip on what I think God’s purpose for me in the coming year is, I pray for God to show me a bible verse.

I feel like the word Unleashed is going to be about getting rid of fears and apprehensions in my life and taking more risk in my career, ministry and relationships.

The bible verse I choose for this year has come across my path several times this month as I have been working on my word of the year, so this is my verse of the year, “There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”  1 John 4:18

As many people know, I can also be a self-help book junkie!  About the same time as I came up with a word of the year, I also realized that reading self help books is of no help to me or anyone else, unless I put the principles in the books to use, and this takes a lot of intention, time and planning.  So, I now only read one or two self-help books a year and I am very intentional and mindful to choose wisely and put the principle in them to use in my life.  So, it would only make sense for the books I choose go along with my word of the year!

This years first book is “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson.  This book about drawing prayer circles around the goals God wants us to go after, the promises God wants us to claim and the dreams God wants us to pursue.  It is a book about adventure and risk, about walking not in fear but in faith.  One of my favorite lines in the book so far is “If you’re not willing to follow the star, you’ll miss our on the biggest adventure of your life.”  2018 is sure to be a great adventure!

Finally, I will just mention the song that I have chosen for this devotion, I have never had a song of the year, but the way I format my devotions has put me in a place to do so this year, I love how this song just popped up in my music as I was writing this devotion and the words were perfect for my 2018 adventure!  I have never heard this song before or heard of this artist.  It’s a God thing for sure!

Please let me know if any of you choose a word for 2018, I would love to hear your story!

Thank you, Father, for unleashing in each of us Your perfect love that drives out fear.  We look forward to following the star and taking a great adventure with you in 2018, we ask that we make a difference in the world this year and that you would use us to share your perfect love with everyone in our lives.  Amen

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