"See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. 1 John 3:1"
Mark Schultz, Love Has Come http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZOMxPTXQuA
January is often a time of resolutions. To make changes in how we live. Getting in shape, losing weight, stop smoking -- all top the lists. Most studies show that most resolutions don't make it a week, let alone to February. Hard as we try (or don't try!) we fail. We can sympathize with the Apostle Paul when he bemoans:
"I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. (Romans 7:15)."
We need support and guidance to change, whether its a running buddy or a friend who holds us accountable to our goals. While ultimately it depends on us, we need to remind ourselves we can't make major changes alone. We need support, information, and most of all, we need God.
We realize that while becoming physically healthy is an important resolution, becoming spiritually mature is critical. For this we truly need God's grace.
Our journey of faith begins with the truth: God is Love, and Jesus is Love Incarnate. God loves us, just as we are. He fashions us to be a Child of Love. This means nothing unless open our hearts, take this in, and submit to God's love to go about transforming us.
Prayer, studying the scriptures, worshiping give us an important foundation to understand God's love. But Love must be practiced and put into action. So daily we face the challenges and joys, and we have a choice: will I love through this situation or respond negatively? God helps us by giving us the Holy Spirit to guide us to chose love.
So let our 2018 Resolution be to love more deeply and selflessly. Let us help each other -- and let us being by meditating on Paul's inspired words:
" Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 "
I would challenge us to mediate on these words, every day for a month, as part of our 2018 resolution. See what develops. what actions we are led to perform, in the name of Love.
PRAY: "God, now is the time. Make us loving, as Jesus showed us. Show us how to help each other reach this goal."