Have You Found God’s “Word” for the Year?


January 5, 2022

Matthew 7:24-27 (NIV)

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”


In recent years a new kind of practice is cycling through the church around the new calendar year. It is the practice of coming up with a “Word” you want to focus on for the new year. People come up with a word like “intentional” or “new” or “grace” or “encourage” or the list goes on. Many will cite a verse of scripture as the originating idea behind their “word.” I suppose it is ok, as far as trends go, but in my years of seeing this at work, it usually only goes until about March at best or the next discipleship trend or cool-kids bible reading app springs up.

It turns out to be a nice spiritual New Year’s Resolution-ishy kind of sentimental intention. It holds about as much power as human words tend to have, which is none. And frankly, I have never heard anyone choose a word like “suffering” or “martyr” or “death” for their word for the year. People tend toward the squishy, happy, good feels kinds of abstractions that in time become meaningless.

So why am I so curmudgeonly about such a practice. Isn’t it a good thing for Christians to at least be making some semblance of an effort to be focused at the start of a new year. No. It’s not. Friends, in case you haven’t noticed, the house is on fire and it is time to stop congratulating each other for bringing our water guns.

I don’t want to know your “word” for 2022. I want to know God’s Word for you for 2022. I want you to know God’s Word for 2022. Your word is meaningless. Even if it is based on God’s Word it is still meaningless because it is a reduction of the real thing. When I ask you for God’s Word for you for 2022, I want to hear a constellation of words, formed into a sentence or two or even a paragraph—with punctuation and inflection and a precisely revealed sequencing of concepts, images and ideas. Why?

The grass withers, and the flower fades, but the Word of our God endures forever. (Isaiah 40:8)

I was talking to one of my bandmates the other day when he mentioned his grandson’s “word” for the year. He’s a freshmen in college at Clemson I believe. It blew me away. His word: 1 Corinthians! Yes! The whole 16 chapters! Come on Church! Let’s not be reducing ourselves to one distilled word of our own imagining. Let’s expand it out to as many of God’s Words as we can begin to wrap our souls around every single day for the next 365 day journey around the Sun.

Let’s take a longer view—say ten years. In ten years if you have ten single words they will mean little to nothing. If you have ten Words from the Word of God, verses, or texts; and these texts have been engraved on your heart—you will have inestimable treasure that will never stop generating interest and dividends and returns on returns on returns. It starts afresh this year. So what is God’s Word for you for 2022?

The grass withers, and the flower fades, but the Word of our God endures forever. (Isaiah 40:8)


Yes, Lord, I am weary of my words because my words do not endure. I want more of your words, which endure forever. Would you lead me to a verse, a passage, a text for 2022—one I could immerse myself in? I want for your Word to be written on my heart. So I offer you my good aspirations and receive from you your deeper intentions. Open your Word to me and let the same Holy Spirit who breathed it into being breathe it into my deepest mind and heart. I pray in Jesus name, Amen.


So how about it? Do you have a Word from God for 2022? Not a “theme” word or a “catch phrase” but a bona-fide word from the Word of God? We have a very active Seedbed Daily Text Facebook Group. How about joining us and sharing your word there as you discern it so we can pray for each other. I’ll be sharing mine later this morning.


This course is going to be an experience in joyful learning. You will be inspired by the Holy Spirit. You will experience the Word of God as Revelation. You will gain new perspective and reading frameworks. You will meet some of the great Doctors of the Kingdom. COME ON: How to Read the Bible Better. It’s three 1.5 hour sessions (Monday evenings beginning January 10) over three weeks with three super-star special guests. It’s Zoom-based but available on demand if schedules don’t allow. If you are looking for the training between Sunday School and Seminary this is it. Scholarships available on request. Register Here Today. It is filling up.

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt

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