Day 1: Monday, January 1, 2024
A new year brings with it the beauty to start afresh pursuing the areas of our life that matter most.
I’d never been fond of making New Year’s resolutions.
Marginalizing Jesus to a resolution felt insignificant as I wrote on a piece of paper: Jesus is not a resolution. He is a relationship that is worthy of our most important pursuit.
Is Jesus worth pursuing?
Perhaps the better question to consider is: What would be different in your life if you believed that Jesus was worth pursuing?
There are a lot of beautiful pursuits in life. Yesterday on the last day of the year, in the Pre-Devotional Worksheet—End of the Year Pursuit(s)Reflection Questions, we had the opportunity to reflect and take an honest look at what we pursued the past twelve months.
The beauty of a relationship with Jesus is that it is a journey, nota destination. No one’s pursuit of Jesus is perfect.
Reflection is always uncomfortable, but a necessary step of moving forward and tweaking our journey. But because our pursuit is not perfect, doesn’t mean we stay stuck doing the same thing expecting different results with another new year.
What it takes to hinder your pursuit of Jesus defines the depth of relationship you have with him. Whatever matters more than our relationship with Jesus is what will lead us away from Jesus.
On this Day 1 of Jesus—The Most Important Pursuit, a 3-DayDevotional For The New Year, there is a question(s) that theHoly Spirit is wanting to move on hearts through the Pre-Devotional Worksheet before we can move forward.
Take the time to sit with and reflect on the questions in theWorksheet—not to blame or beat ourselves up about the pursuits or things we didn’t get right last year—but to recognize that making Jesus the most important pursuit will not happen by chance and without sacrifice.
Here at Becoming More Beautiful—we are women redefining beautiful by pursuing Jesus to become like Him.
Happy New Year! Pursuing Jesus is so much bigger than us.
Day 2: Tuesday, January 2, 2024
Having meaningful pursuits in life is a beautiful thing. There is nothing wrong with having pursuits, but does your pursuits have you? Does your pursuits make you more like the world than Christ?
Jayson D. Bradley says, The pursuit of Jesus Christ is your true testimony, everything else is window dressing.
Window dressing is the skill of arranging objects attractively in a window, especially a store window, or the way in which they are arranged to create a favorable impression.
Our culture has made window dressing—the things of the world—such an attractive display that our true testimony of Jesus Christ has pretty much been thrown out of the window (pun intended).
One of the biggest mistakes Christians make is to believe that pursuing Jesus is only about reading our bibles, prayer, church services, singing worship songs, ministry—which are necessary spiritual disciplines.
But have you ever thought that pursuing Jesus is also about not conforming to the pattern of this world by letting your light shine in every area of your life?
Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others” (Matthew 5:16a). He explained that no one lights a lamp just to hide it under a basket. A lamp is meant to be placed on a stand to give light to everything around it.
Who or what in your life makes you dim your light for Jesus?
What is your basket(s) that tempts you to hide your lamp under it?The enemy knows what our baskets are more than we do.
To honor God means we let our lights shine in all that we pursue. It means that we prize and value Him in our hearts above all things.
Could it be that we value our modern-day idols of popularity and pleasure more than we do God?
Making Jesus our most important pursuit means being different from those around us and living counter-cultural by letting our light shine so that others may see our good works and give glory to our Father who is in heaven. Priceless!
Day 3: Wednesday, January 3, 2024
Words are powerful. It’s been said that choosing a word of the year can be life-changing; not because the power is in the word, but in the actions that accompany it.
Pondering several words, I wanted to choose a word that would bring beauty to who I want to become and what I want to accomplish in 2024. A word that would encourage me to focus on what is important not only for my personal life but for ministry.
Becoming More Beautiful is a community of women who are redefining beautiful by pursuing Jesus to become like Him.Though we are relentlessly pursued by Jesus, I often wonder why pursuing Jesus is not important enough as it should be.
My word of the year gave me an answer—Value.
It is what we value that guides us in our pursuits, decisions, choices, and relationships.
Augustine wrote, “Christ is not valued at all unless he is valued above all.”
In the article, My Satisfied Seeking of God, Dieudonné Tamfu writes: If Christ is not our greatest pursuit in life, then we do not yet value him, which means we have not yet found him. If our souls are not hungry for him, then we have not yet tasted of the bread of life.
One of my favorite parables in the Bible is found in Matthew13:45-46: “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
There are a plethora of lessons in this parable, but one that stands out is that the kingdom is available to those who not only pursue but those who recognize its value.
If we find it challenging to be fully committed to Jesus Christ,could it be that we have not yet recognized his true value?
The Apostle Paul not only recognized the value of Jesus but considered all that he had gained in life as loss compared to the infinite value of knowing him.
I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him (Philippians 3:7-9).
Our hearts will always pursue what we value as our treasure.
This is your year to align what you value to what is most important.
As we conclude this 3-Day Devotional For The New Year:Jesus—The Most Important Pursuit, let me leave you with this question:
How much do you value Jesus? This is a question that only you can answer.
When how you live matches the value you have of Jesus, the pursuit will not only be your most important pursuit, but it will be the beautiful your heart has longed for this new year and the years to come.