Saturday, February 1, 2014

It's Never Too Late to Change!

Yes, I know it is the first day of February and the subject of resolutions should have already been covered in January! Yet I am choosing to write about it today! Why? Because many individuals have already quit in their pursuit of their resolutions! They have failed to last for one month! But understand the year is not over! You can still accomplish great change in your life in 2014!
When I think about the month of January I always seem to connect this month with the writing of Jeremiah. Why Jeremiah? It is because of the following verses:

Lamentations 3:21–23 (KJV 1900)

21This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
22It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
23They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

The month of January always gives me hope! It's a new year filled with new dreams, new opportunities and new victories!

How can I capture this year? The normal process is to make resolutions. What is a resolution? A course of action determined or decided upon. It is normal for many of us to make not one resolution but several.
Here are some static's from the University of Scranton Journal of Clinical Psychology concerning resolutions for 2014 for Americans:

Top 10 New Year's resolutions for 2014
Lose Weight
Getting Organized
Spend Less, Save More
Enjoy Life to the Fullest
Staying Fit and Healthy
Learn Something Exciting
Quit Smoking
Help Others in Their Dreams
Fall in Love
Spend More Time with Family

News Years Resolution Statistics
Percent of Americans who usually make New Year’s Resolutions
Percent of Americans who infrequently make New Year’s Resolutions
Percent of Americans who absolutely never make New Year’s Resolutions
Percent of people who are successful in achieving their resolution
Percent who have infrequent success
Percent who never succeed and fail on their resolution each year
People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions

Type of Resolutions (Percent above 100% because of multiple resolutions)
Self Improvement or education related resolutions
Weight related resolutions
Money related resolutions
Relationship related resolutions
Age Success Rates
Percent of people in their twenties who achieve their resolution each year
Percent of people over 50 who achieve their resolution each year
Length of Resolutions
Resolution maintained through first week
Past two weeks
Past one month
Past six months

The results of making resolutions is pitiful! Only 8% of individuals are successful in achieving their resolutions! Why is the percentage so low?
Our first mistake is we make it too complex. We're going to have the extreme makeover! We are going to lose 50 lbs and walk ten miles a day! We are going to save $50,000, but we only make $30,000 a year!
We need to make it simple. What we need to do is to concentrate on "One Word". That "One word" will be easier to remember, simpler for us to focus on. It will be effortless for others that will  make us accountable to remember! That's my goal for you today! Restart the Year with One Word!
As we turn to the Word of God we find the there were many who used the concept of "One" for success while others were reprimanded because they did not have the concept! David (Psalms 27:4) and Paul (Phil. 3:13-14) used it for success while the rich young ruler (Luke 18:22) and Martha (were reprimanded for their struggle with "one".
What will the concept of "One Word" bring? The first action it will bring is focus. This is what Paul speaks of to the Church at Philippi.

Philippians 3:13-14

13Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Not only will it bring focus but help us in the use of our time and energy. By seeking God and examining ourselves for our "One Word" we become better stewards! David gives us an example of this seeking:

Psalms 27:4

One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.

For Martha the lack of understanding of the concept "one word" caused her to have wrong priorities according to Jesus!

Luke 10:41-42
41And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
42But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Jesus continues to express the "one" concept with the rich young ruler.

Luke 18:22

Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

The rich young ruler had accomplished many things but there was "one" thing that he lacked! He needed to allow that the location of his treasure change from being here on earth and to the vaults of heaven! God might need us to improve in one area of our lives and that area could make a difference in the lives of many others that surround us!

How do we find the "One Word"? Here is a plan to help us.

I.          Prepare Your Heart: Look In  

Take a little time to:  
            1.         Unplug from the noise.
            2.         Ask a few essential questions.  
Get away from the noise and distractions of life, and create an environment to look inward, quiet your mind, and really listen to your heart.
Then ask yourself these three questions, and write your insights here:  
            1.         What do I need?
            2.         What's in my way?
            3.         What needs to go?

II.        Discover Your Word: Look Up

Now that your heart is ready, it’s time to plug in and listen up.
 Once you’ve prepared your heart, you are ready to receive your word.  God has a word that is meant for you. Remember, God can use all means to communicate with us, and you never know when, where, and how your word will be revealed to you.
 Ask God to reveal your word to you with this simple question: “What do you want to do in me and through me?” Write down what comes to your heart. Listen and be open to the word that God shares.
 Once you discover your word, write it down.

III.       Live Your Word: Look Out

Once you discover the word that is meant for you, then it’s time to live it out. Again, this is where the rubber meets the road.

Keep your One Word front and center. Write down three things you will do to make sure you have regular reminders of your word.

Sharing your One Word with your family, friends and coworkers. This helps ensures success. List three people in your inner circle with whom you’ll share your word this week.

Nehemiah understood the magnitude of his "one word" the "wall". He was doing a great work!

Nehemiah 6:3 
And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?

Understanding that you are doing something great by living your word will empower you to stay focused and keep away from distraction!

It's not too late for you! There are eleven months left! Take the time to work and get your "world changing word"!

(The following are references for the article:

One Word reading plans @