Word Wednesday Nugget


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Dr. Rebekah McCloud

I recently had lunch with a friend. We chatted for a while and she told me about her plans for the coming year. She was not going to make any resolutions; instead, she selected a few words to guide her in 2024. One of her words was intentional and she shared a few things about which she was going to be intentional. 

Aww, intentional; that is a big word that can be complicated. It can also be exciting, 

refreshing, frightening, overwhelming, and intimidating. Intentional means done on purpose, intended, deliberate, and by design. There is no accident, it is purposeful, and there is a conscious effort on the part of the doer. Wow! I am planning to be intentional in 2024. How about you?

Being intentional should spur us on to action. That means looking straight ahead and following the path. The path may be hilly, windy, and slippery. It may ascend high into a mountain or descend deep into a valley. It may transverse a vast desert or glide across a lenghty causeway. Be intentional, and keep going. Proverbs 4:25 says, “Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.” Philippians 3:13 echoes a similar thought. It tells us to forget what is behind us and to focus on what is in front of us. 

Be intentional, and keep going. 

The path may be laced with lions, tigers, and bears. Oh, My! Be intentional, and keep going. There may be giants and in comparison to them, you may appear to be as small as a grasshopper (Numbers 13:33). Be intentional, and keep going. Matthew 5:37 says, “All you need to do is say yes or no, anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” Be intentional, and keep going. Intentionality is not for those with hardened hearts (Matthew 13:15). It is for those who are after God’s own heart (Samuel 13:14).

Being intentional should spur us on to action. 

Our Christian walk also requires us to keep going. That means to live by the spirit and to keep in step with the spirit (Galatians 5:25), to look carefully at how we walk (Ephesians 5:15), to not be shaken (Psalms 16:8), to not let our hands be weak (2 Chronicles 15:7), to not be afraid (Deuteronomy 20:3), to walk in wisdom (Colossians 4:5), to be steadfast and immovable (1 Corinthians 15:58), and to guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23). Be intentional, keep going. Intentionality is not for those who are lukewarm (Revelations 3:17), it is for those with fire shut up in their bones (Jeremiah 20:9).

Do not fear, do not worry. Be intentional, and keep going. Our God, the Alpha and Omega (beginning and end), El Shaddai (God Almighty), El Roi (The God Who Sees), El Olam (The Everlasting God), Jehovah Nissi (The Lord My Banner), Jehovah Rapha (The Lord that Heals), Jehovah Jirah (The Lord Will Provide), and El Elyon (The Most High God) will be there. Be intentional, and keep going. Intentionality is not for those who look back (Luke 9:62), it is for those who keep their eyes fixed on the prize (Philippians 3:14).

I have not completed my list yet, but I have committed to making 2024 the year of solid food for the mature (Hebrews 5:14), to commit to the Lord whatever I do (Proverbs 16:3), and to walk according to my calling (Ephesians 4:1). 

For those who will, walk with me through 2024 and do it with intentionality. Let us be intentional about our study and worship, the words we use, the thoughts we entertain, the things we let our eyes see and our ears hear, the places we go, the people we engage, the things we let our hands touch, the way we use our money, the way we spend our time…you finish your list.

May God bless you and keep you during 2024. Be intentional, and keep going.

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