Spiritual growth does not happen by chance nor is it passive. It happens as we deliberately respond to the work of the Holy Spirit upon our lives. We are to actively grow by pursuing God through the means of grace he has provided. Prayer, the Word and the obedience of faith are essential means to spiritual growth. All of God’s giants practiced spiritual disciplines in their passion to know and show the glory of Jesus Christ. Below is my attempt to set spiritual goals for the coming year and a strategy to help me reach them. I divided up my objectives into three categories: those that deal with the heart- affections; those that deal with the head- meditations; and those that deal with the hands- consecration.

“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Phil 3:13-14

1] AFFECTIONS OF THE HEART: Here my intention is to prayerfully create a personal plan that addresses spiritual areas in my life that need to grow. They may include attitudes like- a greater love for Jesus; or replacing anxiety with bold faith; or overcoming some debilitating sin; etc. The point here is that we need to be specific in our planning and praying for growth. At the end of the year we want to be able to identify change and rejoice in what God did in our hearts. The ultimate goal is to increase our love for Christ.

2] MEDITATIONS OF THE HEAD: Here my intention is to develop a personal plan whereby I seek to gain more knowledge of God through regular and serious engagement with his Word. This will include such things as a detailed plan for Bible reading, scripture memory, meditation, journaling and devotional readings. I do this because the Bible shows that before God’s truth can affect our hearts, it first must be known and understood in the head. That is why we hear so many set their hearts on God’s law [Psalm 119:30] and cry out for understanding to know God’s truth [Psalm 119:34]. The ultimate goal is to grow in the knowledge of Christ.

3] CONSECRATION OF THE HANDS: Here my intention is to identify practical and objective
ministry projects that can be seen and measured at the end of the year. The projects might include such results as- salvation of specific friends and family members; the establishment of a ministry that meets the needs of children in your neighborhood; or, the getting out of debt so that one can become more generous in giving to the things of God. Here the focus is upon God using my gifts and resources to bless others with the love of Christ so that people are blessed and God is glorified through the good works of our hands. [Matthew 5:16]. The ultimate goal in seeing such tangible results to our prayer and persistence will be to increase our joy in Christ.

Below I will provide a worksheet to help you formulate your own Devotional Design for 2012. I have also included hints and tips that you may find helpful. If I can help you or be a resource person for you in this awesome quest, feel free to contact me. Gary Rieben


My Devotional Design For 2012

I. My Banner Scripture that will guide my faith for the coming Year: ________________________

This is a faith promise from God’s Word which helps to shape and focus your faith for 2009.

II. My Strategy for glorifying the awesome beauty of Jesus Christ in 2009:

A. THE AFFECTIONS OF THE HEART: These are the internal changes of the heart that will help you to grow in your love Jesus Christ. By God’s grace I want to grow in the areas of:

Prayerfully chose one or two characteristics. Ask God to change your heart in these areas. Chose one or two Scriptures to memorize and meditate upon that focus upon the changes you seek to achieve. It is through the Word of God and prayer that our hearts are changed by the Spirit. [Phil. 2:12-13; Romans 10:17]

B.  THE MEDITATIONS OF THE HEAD: Serious and steady engagement with God’s truth enables you to grow in your knowledge of him and his will for your life.

I will follow this reading plan this year: ___________________________________________

Decide on a daily scriptural reading plan. [Check out the “The One Year Bible” or
www.hopeingod.org/BibleReadingPl an.aspx./ for popular and practical approaches].

I will meet with God at __________________ [Time] in ________________________ [place]

I will memorize these scriptures this year:

Identify several key chapters that you will memorize this year. [Check out
www.hopeingod.org/Memorizingthe Word.aspx for some great tips on how to memorize scripture.] Utilize your memory scripture for meditation throughout the day.

Organize your memory work according to the days of the month. Put into your monthly calendar a scripture you will focus upon each day. Tip: Always be learning a new passage while reviewing an old one. This will help you maintain the truth you have once devoured.

I will meditate on scripture at these times during the day:

Deliberately scheduling times of meditation will prioritize and invigorates your discipline. It keeps God’s promises before your face throughout the day.

I will record the truths I am learning and the prayers I am praying in this format:

Keep a journal to record what God is saying to you through his Word and how he is answering your prayers. Some select a simple spiral notebook. Others choose a more lasting form like a leather journal.

I will include this devotional/book to mentor me through the year.

Mentors are “giants in the faith” who inspire us by biography or devotionals. [Devotionals like Oswald Chamber’s “My Utmost for His Highest,” or the diary of a David Brainerd or Jim Elliot can add much inspiration to your times with Christ.] Take what you are hearing and shape them into prayers to God though out your day.

C. THE CONSECRATION OF THE HANDS: Ask God to give you a great vision for 2012 that includes accomplishing something so good and so great that you could not possibly accomplish it without God working a miracle in and through you. Be specific in your praying and planning. This is a faith project, not just a wish or a whim. It must be something that will bring grace to people and glory to Christ.

I pray that God will use this ministry to bless others and bring him glory in 2012:

I pray that God will bring about the following tangible results in this ministry in 2012:

Concluding Commitments: You may drift into sin but you will never drift into righteousness. Growing in the Lord will mean working out what God has worked in with fear and trembling [Phil. 2:12-13]. We supply the discipline and determination. God will supply the desire and the power. Below are essential commitments that God will use to manifest his glory to your life.

Prayer: Bathe all of your planning and your practice in prayer. John 14:13

Pleasure: The motive of devotions is not duty but delight. Pursue your joy in Christ as he reveals himself through your devotion to him. John 15:11

Practice: It is the daily working of the plan that will eventually produce a harvest of fruit. Ephesians 5:15-16.

Persist: We can be assured that our passion and plan will be opposed by the enemy. So, expect struggle. When you stumble and fall, get up and start again. It is persistence in faith that God rewards. Galatians 6:9

Devotional Design for 2012 Worksheet

I. My Scripture promise for 2012:

II. My Plan to grow in grace in 2012:

A. The affections of my Heart: I ask God to grow me in the following areas.

1. To grow in _______________. My Scripture promise: ________________

2. To grow In_______________. My Scripture promise:  ________________

3. To grow in_______________. My Scripture promise:  ________________
B. The meditations of my Head:

1. My Bible reading plan: each day I will read________ _____________________________

2. I will meet God at [time]_______________ in [place]____________________________

3. I will memorize these scriptures:

4. I will carry out this plan by implementing these practices: [Map out a detailed strategy]

C. The Consecration of my Hands:

1. I ask God to glorify Himself in this ministry:

a. By meeting these needs:

b. By accomplishing these objectives:

c. By bringing about these increases:

2. I ask God to glorify Himself in this ministry:

a. By meeting these needs:

b. By accomplishing these objectives:

c. By bringing about these increases:


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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy:  By Dr. Gary Rieben.  Email:  Grieben@aol.com.  Website:  www.GiveMeThatBook.org.  Postal:  GMTB | P.O. Box 1045| La Quinta, CA 92247 USA | 619.829.2390    © Give Me That Book