Did you know that you could change your life with just one word? Pastor Mike Ashcraft challenges us to lose our long list of resolutions, and instead select one word to focus on throughout the year. One simple, yet powerful word that drives our daily actions and helps us become the person God created us to be.

By focusing on a single word, it helps us to zero in on all of the goals we have for the coming year and gives us a lens to notice the good work that God is doing in our lives.

“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

“We are trusting the promise that God gives us that He is faithful to complete the work that He has begun in us. I think that a lot of the reason people don’t see God’s work in their lives isn’t because He’s not working, it’s because we don’t have a mechanism to pay attention to it.”

Mike shares how his teenage daughter encouraged him to refocus and select his word for the year.

“When I was wrestling with my word for this year I was sitting on the couch with my daughter, who is a senior in high school, I said to her I’m really having trouble picking a word this year…it’s kind of blurry for me. In this real serious voice she says, ‘Dad, what kind of person do you want to become?’

“That’s exactly the framing question and the kind of person I want to become is the kind of person who sees. I want to be someone who sees God more clearly, sees his work more clearly, and so it led to me to this word behold.”

He explores a few sample words that open the door for God to really work on our character.

“Some people need to become more truthful, truthful in the sense that they don’t shade, hide, or run from truth. Or that they want to have a stronger sense of integrity or a sense of tenderness toward people. When you start to get those kind of descriptions you can recognize both things that you might struggle with that you really need help with, or just places where you feel like you’re going to contribute more to the people around you.”

“What happens in you always affects what happens in your interactions other people. When you’re looking to do things for other people it’s always going to affect what’s happening in you, so it’s always both of those things.”

One word has the power to transform us from the inside out. Haven’t figured out your word yet? Don’t worry! It’s important to take some time to think about the person you want to become first and then allow God to bring a word to your spirit.


Mike Ashcraft is the senior pastor at Port City Community Church in Wilmington, NC. His passion is reaching people and helping them walk with God. Mike has led thousands to abandon their resolutions in favor of choosing just one word to be their focus for an entire year.

The power of just one word

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