“My One-Word” for 2022: INCREASE

“MY ONE-WORD” FOR 2022: INCREASE

Since 2015, I have made it a practice to adopt and practice what I call “My One-Word Resolution.” Instead of trying to remember and implement a number of resolutions – which all too often I can’t even keep them in mind, much less apply myself to practice them – I distill my strongest aspirations into “My One-Word.” Inevitably, the other resolutions I want to make and practice will grow and flow from it anyway.  

You can find my story about how I discovered and learned this spiritual exercise here.

[Or you can read the full text of these posts here.]

The “My One-Word” resolutions I have strived to practice and grow into are:

2015 – REST

2016 – DELIGHT

2017 – FOLLOW

2018 – ABIDE

2019 – CONQUER

2020 – CONQUER / ‘LOVE’

2021 – CONQUER / ‘FIGHT’

2022 – INCREASE

Here in 2022, “My One-Word” is “INCREASE.”

As always, “My One-Word” grows from convictions and aspirations that are inspired by the Word of God. Certain Scriptures, even more so than all the others [2 Timothy 3.14-17], will grip me with the burden that “I must focus on this/these.”

The word “increase” will be expressed also ‘in other words’ like:

  • grow [up]
  • progress [both noun and verb]
  • make every effort to supplement
  • flourish
  • still bear fruit in old age
  • ever full of sap and green
  • bear fruit / more fruit / much fruit
  • increase
  • abound
  • more and more

You get the idea. Every one of these words inspires me to keep growing and increasing in the life and service of Jesus Christ. To improve more and more.

I will turn 71 years old here in a few weeks. The Lord has led and transitioned my life and ministry into new venues, roles, and ministries that are in many ways different than those I have pursued in previous years. I know also that, given the normal life actuaries, I’m fulfilling the finishing stretches of my course.

But rather than accepting my age and stage in life as an excuse to relax, let up, slack off, coast, or ‘decrease’ in my service for our Lord, I not only want to just complete my life course and finish well, I want to ‘increase’ in my usefulness to Christ and my effectiveness in ministering to others in whatever ways He will be pleased to assign to me and privilege me to fulfill.

In other words, I not only want to finish well, I want to finish strong! Wherever and whenever my ‘finish line’ is, I want to stretch every remaining nerve and muscle and reach that finishing line knowing that I have maximized every grace, every gift, every opportunity Christ is pleased to allow me to exercise. I don’t want to stop growing. I want to continue to ‘increase’ until I die and can do no more here.

All of these variations of ‘increase’ will be found in the words of the anchor Scriptures I have noted here. I will also commit these Scriptures to memory. These ‘increase’ Scriptures will also express just some of the primary exercises and activities of my life and ministry that I want to ‘increase.’ These anchor Scriptures are not in any particular order either of attention or application; rather they will all complement and coordinate with each other as I seek to pursue them.

All of these resolutions will in some way interface with ‘increase.’ ‘Increase’ will serve as a kind of hub of the wheel of my life as I want to live it over 2022, and the other resolutions will serve as the spokes to give my life direction, movement, and strength.

This will be my keynote and watchword:

“For if I these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” / 2 Peter 1.8

Here then are a few of my challenging, motivating, encouraging, and guiding Scriptures with the ‘Increase’ resolutions that they inspire me to reach for and fulfill…

INCREASE in my love for the Word of God – nurtured to savor and enjoy Christ more!

1 Peter 2.2-3: Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation – if indeed you have tasted that the LORD is good.

RESOLVED: I will increase to love the Word of God more passionately, study it more deeply, and  search for Christ more intently!

INCREASE in the amazing grace of knowing Christ!

2 Peter 3.18: But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

RESOLVED: I will continually increase in the knowledge of Christ by the grace of Christ as much as I can here and now … and as long as I live! This amazing grace of knowing Christ [eternal life / John 17.1-3] calls and allows for unlimited and continuous increase and eternal growth … because He is! This will be the vocation of Heaven forever.

INCREASE in every grace of personal character and Christ-likeness!

2 Peter 1.5-11: For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if I these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

RESOLVED: I will develop, cultivate, and practice the daily habits and personal disciplines [‘make every effort to supplement’] that are necessary to increase in all these graces of Christ!

INCREASE in the cultivation, use, and exercise of the gifts Christ has given me!

1 Timothy 4.14-16: Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

RESOLVED: I will increase my pursuit and use of all the learning opportunities, tools, and resources that are available to me to cultivate, develop, and apply my understanding and ministry of the Word of God and the Gospel! [This will follow up and continue with some ‘continuing education/training’ courses I have started in 2021]

INCREASE in my worship, service, and usefulness to Christ – especially in my local church!

Psalm 92.12-14: The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 13 They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, 15 to declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

RESOLVED: I will increase in giving myself to every opportunity to serve Christ, witnessing to His faithfulness, and encouraging my fellow brothers and sisters in the fellowship and community of my local church – especially to those who may be my peers in sharing the treasures and trials of these ‘golden’ years of our lives!  

INCREASE in my loving and following Christ in ministering to others – wherever, whatever, and to whomever this ministry may be!

John 21.16-18: Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to Him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.”

RESOLVED: I will increase in my ministering to others regardless of the time, place, or circumstances where Christ may lead me, place me, and give me opportunity to serve. When Christ says, “You…follow me!” – I will … more and more!

INCREASE in the holiness of love for God and others!

1 Thessalonians 3.11-13: Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, 12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 13 so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.

RESOLVED: I will increase in all my expressions of holiness by my love from my heart and in my actions toward all! This will call me to increase in patience, forbearance, forgiveness, sympathies, encouragements, and hospitality toward all!  

INCREASE ‘more and more’ in pleasing God!

1 Thessalonians 4.1: Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more.

Verse 10… for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more.

RESOLVED: I will increase my intentional sensitivity and willingness to test every thought, word, and action by this rule: “Does it please God?” “Does this represent Christ well?”!

INCREASE in my evidences of discipleship after Christ: fruit, more fruit, much fruit!

John 15.1-8: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruitAlready you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”

RESOLVED: I will increase in my commitment to abide in Christ, bear the fruit of His in-dwelling life being lived out through me, and doing all that I do in prayerful dependence upon and obedience to Him.

INCREASE in confidence, contentment, and thanksgiving in Christ!

Colossians 2.6-7: Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

RESOLVED: I will ‘decrease’ in my discontentment and complaining and increase in my faith and confidence in Christ to grow and abound in all these resolutions. I will increase also in my thanksgivings to Him for the will and strength to faithfully continue and grow.

I repeat:

“For if I these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” / 2 Peter 1.8

This entry was posted in Holy Resolutions, My One Word, My One Word Resolution, Resolutions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to “My One-Word” for 2022: INCREASE

  1. John Wehrle says:

    Great post Dave — you have increased my desire to increase inChrist!

  2. Thank you for this powerful post, it truly ministered to my spirit. Happy new and many blessings

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