Reaching For The Prize

When I look out at the glowing sunrise here in the California desert, I am reminded of the power and hope of a new year.

How will I live this new year? How will I run my race in the new year?

Will I live with purpose and intention? Or will I be overwhelmed with responsibilities. Like Martha, will I be distracted with pressing needs. Or will I respond, asking God for wisdom, grace, and strength?

I don’t know about you, but I want to run my race with purpose and intention.

Paul expressed this same desire when he wrote —

Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12-14

As we reach for the prize, I believe we need to do as Paul encourages us and run in such a way that we may win (1 Corinthians 9:24). To do that, we need to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-3). I believe there are certain practices and plans that will help us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.

To run our race well, I have been thinking about intention and purpose in preparing for a new year. The writer of Proverbs encourages this planning and preparation through these words: “Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways” (Proverbs 4:26 NIV).

As I have prayed, here are some ideas that you might think about as you run the race set before you …

  • Choose a word and a verse for the year. Get a Quiet Time Notebook where you will journal quotes and what you are learning about your word and verse. You can also make a faith journal out of it and even create art in it to highlight all that God is teaching you. My word for 2017 is Believe and my key verse is Hebrews 11:6.
  • Choose a Bible reading plan. I am going to read through The One Year Bible (NIV Large Print Edition). I like this particular devotional Bible because it offers daily readings in the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. If you are short on time, you might choose just the NT or Psalms reading. When I use a devotional Bible, I sometimes miss days of reading, but I never try to catch up. I just begin again with the new day.
  • Read the Bible daily with intention and purpose. Here is how I have been doing this and I encourage you to give it a try. I use these amazing Bible marking pens called Accu-Gel Bible Hi Glider Highlighters. As I read, I slow down and highlight 1) What I notice about God (Blue), 2) God’s Promises (Yellow), 3) Characters in the Bible and qualities about them (Pink), 4) Applications, Commands, Encouragements, Prayers (Green), 5) Convictions, Resolves, Affirmations — These are the “I will’s” and “I am’s” often found in the Psalms (Orange), and 6) Anything that is profound and very significant to me (Purple).
  • Write your spiritual legacy as a testimony to God’s work in your life. I love using The Quiet Time Journal in my quiet time. I use The PRAYER Quiet Time Plan as I write all that God is teaching me — Prepare Your Heart, Read and Study God’s Word, Adore God in Prayer, Yield Yourself to God, Enjoy His Presence, and Rest in His Love. I prepare my heart with favorite devotionals choosing from Daily Light on the Daily Path, My Utmost for His Highest, Morning and Evening, Voices From The Past, and Streams in the Desert. Once I have read and marked in The One Year Bible, then I write out my most significant insight, prayers, application, something I’ve learned about God, and a promise from His Word to carry with me for the day.
  • Choose a quiet time Bible study for the new year. I recommend one from Quiet Time Ministries — they will take you deep, give you guidance, and offer not only Bible study but also good solid devotional reading. Among others in 2017, I will be taking us through Trusting In The Names Of God — A Quiet Time Experience as an online study beginning in March, 2017.
  • Share what God is teaching you with others. I invite you to join all of us at Ministry For Women — Google+ Community as we share in this journey with the Lord and walk together with Him on the pilgrimage of the heart. Throughout the year I will be sharing what God is teaching me along with photos of my One Year Bible pages and Journal pages.

I’m excited for the newness that comes as we reach for the prize and run in such a way that we may win. May we all experience God’s power and purpose as we fix our eyes on Jesus and run with purpose and intention the race set before us.

♥ Blessings and Grace to You!


myPhotoWalk Devotional

I press on toward the goal for the prize.
Philippians 3:14

myPhotoWalk Technical

  • Title: Reaching For The Prize
  •   Request This Image > SmugMug Image Request
  • Description: Looking beyond the desert floor to the majestic glow of sunrise in Palm Desert, California, USA.
  • Creator: Catherine Martin
  • Date Created: 12/01/16
  • Camera: Sony A6000, Zeiss 16-70mm, FL 67mm, ISO 1000, f/8, 1/125sec.
  • Photoshoot: myPhotoWalk Photo Shoot in Palm Desert, California, USA.
  • Post-Processing: Adobe Camera Raw, Adobe Photoshop, Nik Software.
  • Copyright ©2018 Catherine Martin — myPhotoWalk™ — Quiet Time Ministries. All Rights Reserved.
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