This week on Instagram we have gotten to share a devotion called “Begin Better.” I always love a fresh start. There is something so refreshing about the new year and I wanted to create a devotional that helped us start the new year off right.
The new year is a time to get all our ducks in a row before the start of a new chapter, or at least that’s what it feels like. We brainstorm vision, set goals, and get to decide what the next 12 months will hopefully look like.
Many times our years get started and we may veer off from the goal we initially planned or unplanned events begin to happen. The way we begin the year has the power to set the tone for the rest of the year. I always try to remind myself at the beginning of the year to take it one day at a time. Do good, follow the routine today and tomorrow will take care of itself. Begin Better is all about the areas of our spiritual lives that it is important to live from. Begin Better shares 7 foundational places to build off of in 2023. In light of sharing our devotion this week I wanted to share those areas on the blog.
The first focus for this week is Praise His Name. The vision for day one’s devotional came from the instruction to enter his courts with thanksgiving and praise. The scripture for this focus comes from Exodus 15:2 as it shares Moses praise to the Lord. One of my personal goals for 2023 is to focus more on magnifying who God is in all that I do. One of the two things we do when we are in God’s presence is praise him so there is nothing more fitting to begin the new year with than doing the same. As you begin your new year, praise God for who he is. Praise him for the places he has brought you from and the amazing things he is leading you to.
The second focus for our year and this week is titled Thankful Hearts. This one follows what we do in God’s presence, we enter his courts with thanksgiving. The verse we read for this day comes from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. This scripture encourages us to rejoice always and give thanks in all circumstances. What an encouraging message that in all circumstances there is room to see a reason to be thankful. In 2023 begin by thanking God for what he has done and let that build your faith for what he will do in this next year.
Day three covers what it’s like to live a Life of Prayer. Our verse, Philippians 4:6-7, shares that a life of prayer leads to a life of peace. A life of prayer is an essential in our life with Jesus because it is communication with the Lord. This verse so plainly explains that prayer is thanking God for what he has done and telling him what you need. God desires prayer with us because he wants a relationship with you. This year allow God in as he becomes part of your life.
The fourth day of Begin Better is all about God being Worthy of Worship. The focus verse comes from 1 Chronicles 29:11 and it is the victory song of David after they have rebuilt the temple. David can’t help but to worship God. Worship is our response for who God is to us. As you enter into 2023 worship God because as we lift up God’s name, the pillars of the world will fall into place.
Our fifth day is about the power of A Surrendered Life. God loves surrender because when we are surrendering we are dependent on God. As we surrender our lives, plans, and dreams they become his again and those are the safest hands for something to be in. The verse for day five comes from Romans 12:1 that says surrender is actually what true and proper worship is. God wants our surrender and I want God to have my surrender too. In 2023 as we surrender our desires to God watch as your year turns out better than you could’ve imagined.
Day six is focused around the theme Experience Joy. The take away from day six is that the joy we get to experience is the joy of the father. John 15:11 says God’s joy is in us. I remember reading this verse during days when I didn’t have joy. How encouraging to know that when you don’t have joy, God has joy waiting to be borrowed. 2023 is a year that God wants you to experience his great joy, so take him up on that promise as you begin your year with true joy.
Our last day is all about Living on Mission. Living on Mission is about living with a heart for God’s people. In Matthew 22:37-39 God says that loving his people is like loving him. The best way we can love God is by loving his people, loving your friends, loving your family, loving your neighbor. When we love God’s people we get to be a part of his mission. Jesus loved people to the Father and God has commissioned us with the same opportunity. As we go throughout our next year let’s love people well as they get to experience more of who God is.
Get excited, it’s a new year with new mercies and new opportunities. As you give your dreams to God I know he will give a bigger one right back to you. Give thanks for what God has done and tell him what you need. He is waiting on the other side of your surrender to give you a life of true joy. I hope that this devotional, this blog, inspires you to Begin Better.