How To Make Today Count For A Better Tomorrow

Today is a great day to choose a focus for 2023. When we choose a focus and align our goals to it, we can make today count for a better tomorrow.

How To Make Today Count For A Better Tomorrow

January 5, 2023

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

I’m sure we’ve all heard that phrase before. It circulated widely in the sixties, inspired songs, and continues to resonate today. It conveys this simple truth: Every day can be a fresh start. And while we can start something new at any time, we tend to especially think of this when a new year starts. As we reflect on the past year, we resolve to make things better in the one to come. And although it is January 5th, it’s not too late to make decisions which will lead us to a better year ahead.

For several years I’ve followed the practice of choosing a focus word for the year. Then I set goals which align to that focus. Last year I chose prudence for my word (you can read about that here). In 2022 I focused on honoring God with my talents and resources. Now as I move into 2023, I want to continue to live in ways that honor God. So I chose steadfast as my word. 

The word steadfast means to be unmovable, or fixed in place. But unlike the word stubborn, it implies an unswerving devotion or loyalty to a person, belief, or cause. This is especially true in the Old Testament where it is often used to describe God’s love for us.

Hesed, the Hebrew word for God’s love, doesn’t only describe an emotion. It also conveys a deep loyalty which leads to compassionate acts of kindness. To express this full definition, translators of the Bible combine words like steadfast or unfailing with love. For example:

But this I call to mind,
    and therefore I have hope:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end. (Lamentations 3:21-22 ESV emphasis added)

I love how the word steadfast is used to describe God’s loving devotion to us. Regardless of our choices or behaviors, God’s love for us never wavers. His mercies, or acts of kindness never stop. 

In the New Testament, the word steadfastness comes from the Greek word hypomonḗ. It can also be translated as perseverance which means to never give up. When I picture myself persevering through difficulty, I see myself gritting my teeth and “gutting it out”. However, a loving loyalty, not gritty determination, motivates steadfastness. So for me steadfast carries a more peaceful and joyful image ~ one which inspires me to loving acts of devotion.

In his letter to the Corinthian church the Apostle Paul encouraged the Christians with these words:

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV emphasis added)

This verse follows a reminder from Paul that through Jesus we have victory over death (1 Corinthians 15:52-57). In response to God’s steadfast love, Paul calls us to hold firm to our convictions and to serve Him with unwavering loyalty.

Wherever the road leads me in 2023, I pray to be steadfast in my devotion to the Lord. Wherever your travels take you, I pray you can do the same.

How To Make Today Count For A Better Tomorrow

January 5, 2023

Today is a great day to choose a focus for 2023. When we choose a focus and align our goals to it, we can make today count for a better tomorrow.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

I’m sure we’ve all heard that phrase before. It circulated widely in the sixties, inspired songs, and continues to resonate today. It conveys this simple truth: Every day can be a fresh start. And while we can start something new at any time, we tend to especially think of this when a new year starts. As we reflect on the past year, we resolve to make things better in the one to come. And although it is January 5th, it’s not too late to make decisions which will lead us to a better year ahead.

For several years I’ve followed the practice of choosing a focus word for the year. Then I set goals which align to that focus. Last year I chose prudence for my word (you can read about that here). In 2022 I focused on honoring God with my talents and resources. Now as I move into 2023, I want to continue to live in ways that honor God. So I chose steadfast as my word. 

The word steadfast means to be unmovable, or fixed in place. But unlike the word stubborn, it implies an unswerving devotion or loyalty to a person, belief, or cause. This is especially true in the Old Testament where it is often used to describe God’s love for us.

Hesed, the Hebrew word for God’s love, doesn’t only describe an emotion. It also conveys a deep loyalty which leads to compassionate acts of kindness. To express this full definition, translators of the Bible combine words like steadfast or unfailing with love. For example:

But this I call to mind,
    and therefore I have hope:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end. (Lamentations 3:21-22 ESV emphasis added)

I love how the word steadfast is used to describe God’s loving devotion to us. Regardless of our choices or behaviors, God’s love for us never wavers. His mercies, or acts of kindness never stop. 

In the New Testament, the word steadfastness comes from the Greek word hypomonḗ. It can also be translated as perseverance which means to never give up. When I picture myself persevering through difficulty, I see myself gritting my teeth and “gutting it out”. However, a loving loyalty, not gritty determination, motivates steadfastness. So for me steadfast carries a more peaceful and joyful image ~ one which inspires me to loving acts of devotion.

In his letter to the Corinthian church the Apostle Paul encouraged the Christians with these words:

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV emphasis added)

This verse follows a reminder from Paul that through Jesus we have victory over death (1 Corinthians 15:52-57). In response to God’s steadfast love, Paul calls us to hold firm to our convictions and to serve Him with unwavering loyalty.

Wherever the road leads me in 2023, I pray to be steadfast in my devotion to the Lord. Wherever your travels take you, I pray you can do the same.

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2 Comments

  1. AnnMarie on January 10, 2023 at 5:05 PM

    Shirley,
    I loved your current blog! The goal of a character trait to aspire to is so inspiring! I really love the comparison of stubborn with steadfast- (unswerving devotion…) I also want to focus on being “steadfast ” in this new year!
    Blessings 🥰

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on January 12, 2023 at 10:43 AM

      Thank you, AnnMarie! I appreciate your encouraging words. I will pray for us both to cultivate being steadfast in 2023. 💕

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