I Resolve 2018: #Wordbeforeworld

December 31, 2017  - By Gretchen Saffles

In 1716, American revivalist preacher, theologian, and writer, Jonathan Edwards, penned a list of seventy “resolutions.” These resolutions, unlike most New Years Resolutions, were rooted deeply in a humble desire to obey God’s Word. Edwards began each of these resolutions with the simple word “resolved…” Resolve means to firmly set in one’s heart to do something, to follow-through with a commitment, and to decidedly move in a certain direction with the purpose of reaching the intended destination.

And yet, even with the sheer determination Edwards mustered up in his bones, he knew that he could not accomplish even one of these resolutions without God’s grace giving him the ability, stamina, and perspective needed to follow through. Number seven on Jonathan Edwards list of resolutions stopped me in my tracks several years ago and has shaped the way I craft New Years Resolutions. It states,

Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.” (#7)

The resolutions Jonathan Edwards penned 300 years ago still speak because they were written with an eternal perspective. Rather than dealing with outward behavior modification, Edwards wrote straight to the heart. If you’ve ever made your own list of resolutions, you know the conundrum that takes place around February 1st. You start off well in January, but by February you’ve already started sleeping in again, skipping the gym, scrolling endlessly on your phone, and slacking on those resolutions you were “committed” to keep.

I’ve been there...countless years in a row. I’ve gotten frustrated at my own lack of self-discipline. I’ve even compared myself to others who were able to keep one or two of their resolutions for a whole year! However, I believe that when we take a step back to view our own lists, most of our resolutions aren’t written with the eternal perspective that drove Jonathan Edwards to write down SEVENTY of these determined goals. He even read them each week as reminders to himself.

eternally-driven resolutions

As I’ve brainstormed my own list of resolutions for 2018, I keep coming back to one that I believe would flip life upside down if actually done with diligence and discipline. The resolution I am making for 2018 is this: “I resolve to put the Word before the world.” I believe that many of Jonathan Edwards resolutions were written because he saw them as weak spots in his life, areas that needed to be changed and improved upon as he walked the journey of following Christ. Most resolutions are written due to an admission that something needs to change in one’s life.

For me, I’ve noticed an unhealthy pattern in the last year of waking up and scrolling my phone in the first moments of the day. I’ve excused this “scroll” as time to help my body wake up, but the Lord knows that at the bottom of my scrolling is a heart of laziness and a lack of discipline. Elisabeth Elliot described discipline in this way: “Discipline is the wholehearted yes to the call of God. When I know myself called, summoned, addressed, taken possession of, known, acted upon, I have heard the Master. I put myself gladly, fully, and forever at His disposal, and to whatever He says my answer is yes.”

I desire to be a woman who is disciplined in the things of Christ. I know that the first moments of my day shape the rest, and yet I’ve allowed the things of this world to become more alluring than the Word of God. This cannot be, and that is why I am resolving, by the grace of God, with my eyes on Jesus, to put the Word back in its proper place, first.

Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.” (#28)

With the increase of technological advancement in our society has come a plethora of distractions and addictions people like Jonathan Edwards never had to bother with. We live in a day and age where our screens have become more important than our God. That’s why I believe that a year of rewiring our fingers and brains to go to Jesus before the world will not only change our days; it will revolutionize our lives.

Why do I believe this? Because the Bible is the living, breathing, always active words of God, written for our instruction and encouragement (Hebrews 4:12, 2 Timothy 3:16-17). It gives us life, comfort, direction, and everything that we need for each day. Why would we give our hearts to the things of this world that dishearten, discourage, and distract when we have the actual words of God that are unchanging and never fail ready to be digested by our hearts and minds?

I know what you might be thinking right now. But I’ve tried to read my Bible more and I’ve always failed. I don’t know where to start. I have kids that wake up early, how am I going to wake up before them to read my Bible? These are all honest and fair questions, but excuses aren’t driven by the grace and power of God. Instead of bringing God your excuses and predicaments, bring Him your desire, trust, and surrender. He already knows your life circumstances. He knows where you are in your journey of faith. What He longs for is a holy desire to know Him more. He knows that once we taste of the goodness of Jesus Christ, the rest of the world will lose its flavor.

pick up your fork & taste Jesus

However, you’ve got to pick up your fork and dig into the Word to know just how good it tastes. This requires discipline, because not every quiet time will leave you “feeling” good and some days you’ll have to work to understand the text or turn off your phone so you don’t get sucked into scrolling endlessly. The difference in a resolution that actually works is knowing the end result. Putting the #Wordbeforeworld will redefine your attitudes and perspectives in life, and it will prepare you with the ammunition you need to fight the fight of faith. Knowing Jesus is more important than knowing what’s happened overnight on Instagram or Facebook.

If you are interested in joining me in this one resolution for 2018, to put the Word before the world, I want to offer several suggestions as to what this could look like:

  • Consider waking up to an alarm clock rather than your phone to remove the temptation of checking your email, reading the news, responding to texts, or scrolling social media first thing.
  • No matter what your mornings look like, choose at least one verse to meditate on first thing. If you can get up and have your time with Jesus in those first moments, praise the Lord! Guard those moments and make them a priority! However, I know there are many of you who have kids who have to get up for school, or work the night shift at work. Whatever your circumstance, if having a quiet time first thing in the morning is not possible, make it a priority to set your mind on Jesus in those first moments. The point is, we’ve got to teach our hearts, minds and souls that Jesus is more important than social media. We can’t live without Him, but we can certainly live without Facebook or Instagram.
  • Again, if you can’t have your full quiet time in the first moments, I guarantee you have five minutes you could get on your knees and read a Psalm or meditate on one verse. Maybe you choose a verse to memorize each month and that’s the verse you meditate on as you cook breakfast, go on a jog, or take a shower. In high school, my sister and I printed off certain passages of Scripture and put them in a plastic covering so they could hang in the shower. We’d use that time to think about Scripture and hide it in our hearts. You can even use a dry erase marker to write Truth on your mirror! There aren’t rules to this; get creative and think outside of the box!
  • With that said, there will be sacrifice that is required. You might *think* you don’t have time to read Scripture or spend twenty minutes in the Word at the start of your day, but perhaps if you did commit to set your phone aside in those first moments you’d have more time than you think? Maybe you wake up a few minutes earlier? Maybe you leave all your Bible study materials in one place, ready for you in those morning moments? Maybe you turn off the TV and reclaim those precious times? Evaluate your schedule and your heart motives. The key here is to put the Word before the world. 

Join the challenge and get your free guide here! 


Here are several free reading plans you can follow along with as you read the Word in 2018:

(Remember, these plans aren’t set in stone! If you choose a one-year reading plan and get behind, just extend it. Don’t give up. Who said you HAD to read the Bible in just one year? What if you read it in 1 year and 3 months? What matters is that you are diligently seeking God through His Word, not how much you ingest each day. Quality trumps quantity):

  • YouVersion, an app for your phone, has countless reading plans you can follow, including a one-year read through the Bible plan.
  • ReadScripture, an app created by the ministry of Francis Chan, is made with the intent of leading you through the entire Bible. The beauty of this app is that it breaks down the Bible into increments to help you understand the timeline of the Bible. It even has videos for each section that show you exactly what happens in that portion of the text. If you are a visual learner, I HIGHLY recommend getting this app! You could open up your phone and read it first thing. There are also podcasts to go along with the readings.
  • She Reads Truth also has an app and free daily reading plans. You can sign up for their emails and get them straight to your inbox! However, I recommend either using the app or purchasing one of their study books. I know that when I get emails I often get distracted by the rest of my inbox. This may not be a problem for you! But if it is, consider an alternative to checking your email first thing.
  • First 5 is an app created by Proverbs 31 Ministries that also has daily reading plans.
  • Robert McCheyne, a 19th century Scottish minister, created a reading plan that was intended to be read with the family and in secret. It reads in both the Old and New Testament each day. If you don’t have a family to read with, you could divide this into a morning and evening reading! You can also find the McCheyne reading plan here that is designed for individual reading!
  • Iva May also created a Chronological Bible Reading Plan. I love this one because she breaks down the Bible in an understandable and memorable way. You can also sign up for her emails, read her blog posts, or go through this reading plan with a group at your church!
  • Robby Gallaty, pastor of Long Hollow Baptist Church, created a reading plan called the F-260 that highlights foundational Bible passages. I’ve heard incredible things about how practical and powerful this reading plan is! You can find it here.
  • She Works His Way also created a free one-year reading plan.
  • We also created free reading guides for the books of 1 John, Philippians, 1 Peter and Ephesians! You can find them here.

Here are some helpful resources to encourage you to get into the Word each day.


Remember, there will be days where you just can’t open up the Word right away. There will even be days where you straight up choose to lay in bed, press the snooze button, and scroll. BUT, those days do not negate the grace of God, they necessitate it. Humbly rely on His grace. Come back to Him when you’ve given up, or when you’ve chosen things that entangle your heavenly pursuits. He’s always there, waiting for you, His child, to choose the better portion that will last forever.

My heart is already filling with joy thinking about all that God will do as we put Him first this year! Are you planning on joining me? Comment below! You can also share this post to have your friends join in with us! If you share what you are learning during your time in Scripture on social media, use the hashtag #Wordbeforeworld to find other women getting into the Word first thing each day.

Let’s do this, for His glory and by His grace.

Resolving with you,



Resolved, to live my life with all my might, while I do live.” (#6)

*This post contains some affiliate links. If you choose to purchase from them we receive a small commission that will go back into producing gospel-driven content to encourage you in your walk with God!

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  1. bernicehillier@gmail.com says:

    I am interested in finding out about the free lock screens you mentioned.

    • gretchen@lifelivedbeautifully.com says:

      Hi Bernice!! At the bottom of this post you’ll see several of them scrolling! Just right click to save them to your phone! 🙂

  2. smcguire0508@gmail.com says:

    So thankful for your encouragement! With four kids from 12 to 2, my mornings are quiet so I cherish each Word I get to soak in! For me, I’ve found doing any devotions or reading the Bible on my phone just tempts me to start scrolling so my goal is not to pick up my phone until I’ve dug into my Bible! Thank you for great resources! Excited to be on this journey with y’all! ☺️

  3. marisamla2@hotmail.com says:

    That is so helpful!! Thank you so much!! I’ll join you for sure and I am very excited about it! Have a blessed new year Gretchen!! Greetings from Mexico!!

  4. Cathy.eberhardt@windstream.net says:

    I needed this and going to follow along!

  5. ma25wi@aol.com says:

    I plan on joining you!

  6. Stacy says:

    Beautiful! I commit to #Wordbeforeworld

  7. jillalockhart@hotmail.com says:

    Joining you all! Need this badly!

  8. smcox424@gmail.com says:

    I’m committed to put the Word before the World! I love the Well Watered Women community and all the support!

  9. anointedfamilylife@gmail.com says:

    I love this and am definitely in need of it! I’ll be joining in!

  10. Sbrow86@aol.com says:

    So looking forward to doing this with this community of women hungry for the Lord!

  11. Jennifer Chatman says:

    I’m in! I’m going to start a 21 day fast tomorrow and one of the things I plan on fasting is social media. I also have some awesome new Bible studies and a journaling Bible that I got for my birthday and Christmas.

  12. I’m hoping to join too! I love the SheReadsTruth app! It is easy to access while nursing in the early morning.

  13. Kellie says:

    I’m in! ♥️

  14. Thanks!!! Yes we need to be determined to do this for God and the people with us in our journey! I always feel we are pilgrims travelling together. Thank you for the encouragement and concrete help!

  15. Krista.murr14@gmail.com says:

    I’m in girl! Thank you!

  16. Anna Freeman says:

    I’m in! Love you gretchen!

  17. gfrn2008@gmail.com says:

    I’m in!!!

  18. reneemccurry@yahoo.com says:

    wordbeforeworld. Amen. Doing it!

  19. Emilyawalker25@gmail.com says:

    Count me in!

  20. Janeen.winbush@gmail.com says:

    I’m in

  21. Amen! #wordbeforeworld

  22. shepherdingnelsons@gmail.com says:

    I’m in!

  23. jamishull@gmail.com says:

    Yeeeeeeessss!!!!! I’m so in. Deleting social media apps from my phone and MAKING this happen.

  24. babirkhead07@gmail.com says:

    wordbeforetheworld I’m in!!!

  25. Miranda says:

    I’m in! So many of these words echo the cries of my heart! Let Jesus be glorified in this year! I want Him more than the things of this world!

  26. Jazziholtz@gmail.com says:

    I’m in. Can’t wait to see what the Lord does in my life when I set aside myself and become even more filled with the Holy Spirit! May our lives be changed and our relationships deepened.

  27. hyoung02@gmail.com says:

    I’m in!

  28. Ycuenca08@gmail.com says:

    I’m exited to be joining this journey of putting God before the world! Praying his grace over all of us participating!

  29. I’m in! I made it my goal for 2018 to not look at social media before I finished my quiet time each morning before I had seen all your posts about #WordBeforeWorld but now I just have a community to back up my goal!

  30. cdanderson1712@yahoo.com says:

    I’m in!! #wordbeforeworld

  31. Elizabethhorrell3049@gmail.com says:

    Thank you so much!!!! I’m in!!! Word before the world!!!

  32. Sonia_igarce@hotmail.com says:

    I’m in!!! 🙋 Wow what a great challenge!

  33. teresalgarcia@yahoo.com says:

    Me too! ✨

  34. Marta says:

    I love this. And I think I also need to just dive in and refocus! Thank you for the encouragement to do so! I will come back and read this again and again throughout the year!

  35. Doroholman@yahoo.com says:

    This is my #1 2018 goal and mantra. Every morning I get caught up on my phone before anything else. NOT in 2018! Thank you for the encouragement to be intentional with this.
    ~Rochelle H

  36. Riley says:

    Amen to this! Yes to the Word before the world!

  37. Gabriellenina07@yahoo.com says:

    This is exactly what I’ve been needing! Thank you so much! I can’t wait to make this change in my life and to become closer with the Lord!!

  38. Teresa.whitley72@gmail.com says:

    I’m in!!! Getting refocused with #Wordbeforetheworld

  39. Lifeoncedar@yahoo.com says:

    I am in. I feel lately that I have failed Him by scrolling through social media rather than turning to Him. Praise the Lord for finding you today!! Blessings for 2018!!

  40. harrism@stillwaterschools.com says:

    Thank you for putting into words exactly what I knew in my heart had to happen in 2018. I can’t wait to receive my GMJ journal!

  41. Loved reading every word in this blog post. And I am ready to say I am IN! I will be leaving in 8 days to go on a 3 month mission trip to Nicaragua and I know that this resolution has the power to take me completely different level in my walk with Jesus. Thank you for sharing your heart with us!
    -Heather Korinek

  42. Autumngracelove@gmail.com says:

    Yes! I’m in. Resolving to make this change and accept the challenge!

  43. vagabond_princess@yahoo.com says:

    I’m in. Noticed lately how dry I seem to be in my walk with God and realized it was me not moving with Him but rather me stopped by my phone and distractions. I need this.

  44. Lipstickshoesandgod@gmail.com says:

    Perfect! Count me in 😊

  45. sav@gmail.com says:

    I love this so much Gretchen and I love your heart for the Lord. I’m certainly going to be joining you. Last year I was helped to get up early and be alone with my God almost every day and it charged my life, 2017, although not outstanding In the world’s eyes, was my best year ever because of the nearness I felt to my God.

  46. I’m in! I can’t wait! I turn off all social media notifications on my phone (all the time) and I have the do not disturb feature on my phone until a certain time each morning. That really helps me stay off it. BUT, I love this challenge to not scroll and see what happened overnight on IG or FB. THAT convicts me. It can wait. Time with Jesus can’t! I’m leaving my Bible study resources in my office where I get up each morning, to spend that time with Him, first thing. Thanks for doing this Gretchen! Praying for you as God challenges you, too! ::hugs::

  47. Emmyj16@hotmail.com says:

    Thank you for the resources and article. My number one goal for 2018 is to spend more time in the word. #wordbeforeworld

  48. bec.touzel@gmail.com says:

    I’m in! After the hardest 18 months of my life (and my marriage), I’m in desperate need of recharging from His Word and not from social media.
    Thank you! Loving the Give Me Jesus journal too.

  49. arubimom@yahoo.com says:

    wordbeforeworld already started today. Had to consciously not reach for my phone this morning.

  50. Count me in! This sounds so good!

  51. Jaime says:

    So glad to come across this from a friend who shared! ❤️ I’m in … I have felt the Lord tugging at me for some time about social media

  52. Ms.blair007@gmail.com says:

    This is amazing! So glad you shared!! I’m in🙏🏻🙌🏾🙏🏻🙌🏾

  53. Amy Hale says:

    Another one of those days you and I are on the same wavelength as I shared a very similar post on Instagram today and in my InstaStory! I do appreciate you, friend!

  54. mom2ccj@yahoo.com says:

    I’m in! I struggle with this issue. Thank You!

  55. Nurseleslie4@yahoo.com says:

    Just what I need! I’ve committed to less phone time this year! It’s definitely become a habit to pick up the phone 1st thing in the morning and I get discouraged every time.

  56. jjaseltd@aol.com says:

    I struggle with this as well. I’m in!

  57. Laurabeth8908@hotmail.com says:

    Thank you for this reminder and all the suggestions. I’m in!

  58. thestein2015@gmail.com says:

    I’m ALL in!! Love this so much! God has been calling me to spend more time seeking Hus Word for answers instead of this world! These three little words speak volumes to my heart and confirm Gods plan for me this year!! Thanks for always being so encouraging!

  59. Prathera89@gmail.comAllison says:

    I love this idea and need this in my life!

  60. Fhl0283@gmail.com says:

    My sister is doing this and it encouraged me to do it as well!! So neat!! 📖❤

  61. Esther says:

    I started this challenge on New Years and its already been a huge blessing! Thank you for sharing

  62. YES!! I saw your teaser on this and promptly put Word before world on my Tending List. I had been falling into the habit of bringing in the newspaper when my husband went to work and I’d start scanning/reading that instead. So I put it down and go upstairs and spend time in the word. Thank you for this. I surely needed it. 🙂

  63. tammi.burgess@yahoo.com says:

    I love this! Need this too!

  64. Lewismarla359@gmail.com says:

    Love this. Thank You!!

  65. m.arning@yahoo.com says:

    I started this challenge 1/1 by starting my "reading thru the Bible in one year" and using your "Give me Jesus" journal. I have trouble filling in all the areas sometimes but I’m working on it. Thank you for the incentive and the tool. I find that if I don’t do it first thing I never get back to it.

  66. Meredith says:

    I’m SO in! Love that there is a community that WANT to do this!!

  67. rriley23@gmail.com says:

    Love this.

  68. chanelle.s.cadiz@gmail.com says:

    ❤️ #Wordbeforeworld

  69. Ira says:

    I’m in! Excited what this change will bring ❤️

  70. pamgail@sbcglobal.net says:

    This was such a powerful and convicting post for me! Thank you for your insights. My word for 2018 is "Intentional". This goes right along with your words today. I will intentionally open His Word rather than my phone/computer first thing each morning! #Wordbeforeworld

  71. tammymorinphotography@gmail.com says:

    What other tools besides a reading plan or scripture do you used to help you?

  72. Cindy says:

    I just discovered your ministry. Indefinitely in!!

  73. I am in for the Word before World challenge and I will be encouraging my whole church that I pastor to do the same! Thank you so much for this!

  74. Grace112609@gmail.com says:

    I am in for the Word before world challenge.

  75. Ayala.rebeca1@gmail.com says:

    I am IN!!
    Word before world– is what the spirit has been whispering to me since July 2016 when my mother in law passed away. Boy it’s been a struggle to commit to. But since finding you October 2017. I’ve felt SO encouraged! This blog entry blessed greatly today. Was having a tough morning and as I lowered my head to cry/pray at the breakfast table I glanced at my bible( I’ve purposely left it there) and immediately moved the coupons I had sitting on top and went straight to Psalms..the verses literally began to strengthen me! The cry turned into laughter. Then of course. After some tea, I went onto scroll IG, and came across your post about the word before world challenge. It was DIVINE confirmation! Moments like this I’m so grateful for social media bc even tho it serves as a distraction (most times– for me anyway) It also opens doors to some amazing people w/ wonderful resources! I read this at the perfect time. Thank you for putting together such great content!

  76. Mjobarnes@netscape.net says:

    I am with you. I take the you version verse of the day, create a background and post it on my FB page, Twitter and Instagram every day as the first thing. I get up 15 min early to do this. I also read my plans and then go to First 5 and Time of Grace as well if time permits in the am. But I hit all 3 before the day is over. Love my routine to stay in the Word.

  77. Blessedangelforever@yahoo.com says:

    In with you on this!

  78. jsthyng@gmail.com says:

    I’ve crashed alot over the past several years. I’ve struggled with hearing God’s voice. I’d love to find a simple devotional to do with my son each morning.

  79. amyinmn@gmail.com says:

    I’m putting His Word before the World, so happy to have found Well-Watered Women to Walk along with ♡
    Joining you! #Wordbeforeworld

  80. sherrilee63@hotmail.com says:

    My beautiful daughter shared #wellwateredwomen with me and I’ve loved learning ways to be in Gods Word Everyday
    I’m in 🙏🏻❤️

  81. Jennifer Landrith says:

    This is great Gretchen! I totally agree with you on getting in the Word before social media because time just disappears when we do that first. Thx for all the great resources in this list. ❤️

  82. teawithfriends2001@gmail.com says:

    So thankful for this timely post. I have utilized YouVersion for a couple years now to start my day in the word. I need to go more in depth to grow and needed the resources listed here. Thank you!

  83. chateaubeaugh@satx.rr.com says:

    I love the concept of "Word before World"! Three powerful, impactful words, but an easy concept to carry with me throughout the day. Thank you!

  84. carrie.r.rodgers@gmail.com says:

    Love this!! The point is so important and the wording is a great reminder!! I am looking forward to joining in with Word before world ♡

  85. This is AMAXING!!! And perfect timing. This has been my resolution this year and I’m excited to join in!!❤️❤️❤️

  86. Jessicaanneheckman@gmail.com says:

    Is there a way to formally sign up?

  87. wanitastewart@gmail.com says:

    This is a really great idea. I want to definitely participate. I don’t have an alarm clock but I can set an alarm with my Echo. Alexa can wake me and I won’t awaken with my phone. I am so happy you are doing this challenge because I believe it help me. I am so happy you are doing this challenge because I believe it help me. Typically my phone is in the bed with me when I sleep, so I will have to find another spot for it.

  88. Mary Jo Barnes says:

    I’m in. I’ve been doing a post with the verse of the day from You Version for over a year to instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I then read my Bible plan in Youversion, First 5 and Time of Grace. I have to get up earlier to get it done but it is so worth it. (I started with only YouVersion but it makes you want more)

  89. maritay918@gmail.com says:

    I’m in!!! Definitely need the accountability.

  90. butterflymama01@gmail.com says:

    I am definitely in. My quiet time has been a struggle lately and I think this will help.

  91. Danguole Donahue says:

    I am new to Instagram. Is this where we sign up? Because your passion for the Lord is beautiful, and His mercy shines through your message. Thank you.

  92. Julie Field says:

    I’m so excited I can barely type this out!

  93. […] by Well Watered Women CO. it’s “Word before World”. I will link their website HERE and I highly recommend checking them out, especially their posts on Word before […]

  94. […] Word before World, a concept I have learned from Gretchen over at Well Watered Women which means I’m not reaching for my phone right when I wake up but rather am reading […]

  95. Taliah says:

    I’m interested in the free reading guides for 1 John, Philippians, etc mentioned in the post 🙂

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