Four Months on Pursue

One Word 2020 Pursue

Well, it’s been four months since I started focusing on Purse as my OneWord for 2020. I think we all looked at 2020 with optimism. A new year is always a hopeful time to turn the page on a new opportunity and coupling that with the start of a new decade somehow felt even more optimistic. How could I have predicted what 2020 would really hold? No one could have explained how vital pursuing God and striving to keep my soul close to his heart would become as the world would slide into chaos.

The news mainly revolves around numbers and statistics related to the global pandemic, social distancing, COVID-19, a looming global financial depression, and so many conspiracy theories I know our grandchildren will someday wonder if we all took advantage of Illinois legalizing marijuana January 1st, 2020.

As state and federal leaders now weigh economic decisions with life and death ones the realization that our lives are in the hands of imperfect humans feels like the only truth where Americans find agreement although which ones are imperfect is likely up for debate. It’s easy to succumb to fear or lean into hopelessness. However, God has always been in control of the resurrection and redemption stories and he’s even shared the ending of the last battle on Earth as well as the playbook of how to live eternally in heaven with him.

When we trust that God is who he says he is, we can have a relationship with our Creator on earth and in heaven. God draws us to him because he loves us and wants to have a personal relationship with each of us. He knows us well, after all, we’re his children. But he also wants us to know him well.

I knew my focus on Purse would start with Psalm 63:8 but I didn’t realize how vital the discipline of keeping my soul close to God’s heart would be in 2020.

With-passion-I-pursue-and-cling-to-you.-Because-I-feel-your-grip-on-my-life-I-keep-my-soul-close-to-your-heart.

In January, I assumed 2020 was going to be a busy year. I shared that with you and also shared that I believed there were several reasons God was asking me to focus on the discipline of pursuing him to keep my soul close to his heart.

Here’s what I featured:

  • Understand that the years ahead would be hard, but success was possible with obedience.
  • That obedience would require the Israelites to take courageous steps of faith previous generations weren’t willing to take.
  • Reminder from Joshua to “Be careful to obey the law”, 
  • Reminder from Matthew “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
  • Understand that as we pursue God we seek the truth even when it’s not the popular opinion. 

It turns out that all of the things God was bringing to my attention for me to study and shore up my convictions around would soon face testing. Not in the way I imagined, and certainly I wouldn’t be the only one tested. Since March everyone’s faith and convictions have been tested along with our resolve and our ability to reflect Jesus well. Churches have shifted to virtual services, and the definition of what it means to love your neighbor has taken on a whole new meaning. Ed Stetzer summarized things clearly in a recent article for Christianity Today “On Christians Spreading Corona Conspiracies: Gullibility is not a Spiritual Gift” Ed wrote:

As Austin Jones tweeted, “Last week my Facebook feed was full of people posting crazy Covid conspiracy theories, followed by posts about evidence for the resurrection. I don’t think they realize the message they are actually sending.” Indeed.

Jesus last earthly words in Acts 1:8 promised us that we would receive the Spirit’s power and we would bear witness to Jesus. You don’t need the power of the Holy Spirit to be undiscerning, and you aren’t bearing witness to the saving work of our Lord by spreading conspiracies.

I’m grateful that many, many pastors and church leaders and their churches have used this unusual time not to spread conspiracy theories but to proclaim Christ, not to feed their fears but to serve their community.

Let’s continue to provoke one another to good works, hold to what is true, and refuse that which is false.

It’s become even more vital to pursue God’s truth rather than to rely on man’s words in 2020.

Other Ways I’ve Focused On Pursue

I’ve spent time reviewing my Bible study methods which I’ve updated and republished.

Adoration Devotions

Priscilla Shirer’s 5 P’s

Additionally, I focused on 40 Days of Decrease for Lent devotions and was able to see again how Jesus pursued the disciples until the very last moments they were together in the Garden of Gethsemane

One of the highlights of the year so far was the Purse Coaches’ Wives Retreat

which was a huge blessing.

Purse Worship Song that’s Hitting Home

Goodness of God Lyrics:

Verse 1
I love You Lord
Oh Your mercy never fails me
All my days
I’ve been held in Your hands
From the moment that I wake up
Until I lay my head
I will sing of the goodness of God

Chorus
All my life You have been faithful
All my life You have been so, so good
With every breath that I am able
I will sing of the goodness of God

Verse 2
I love Your voice
You have led me through the fire
In darkest nights

You are close like no other
I’ve known You as a father

I’ve known You as a friend
I have lived in the goodness of God

Bridge
Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me

Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me

With my life laid down, I’m surrendered now, I give You everything

Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me

After four months of focusing on my OneWord for 2020 Pursue I’m still learning a lot about God and how I can apply the discipline of drawing my heart and soul closer to him. How are you doing with your OneWord for 2020?

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