A new year's Perspective
Matthew 22: 37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.
Matthew 16: 24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
John 13: 35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Thank you John for delivering a great message this past Sunday. You absolutely teed up a great platform for 2018. God is so good and faithful.
Our world loves to talk about “love”. It fills the talk show circuit, scripted within publications, lectured by motivational counselors, and expressed within most homes. It has to be one of, if not the most talked about subjects in our world.
Throughout the Christmas season, Peace, Joy, and Love are continuous themes. The Hallmark channel displays a prolific continuum of movies, taking us on one emotional coaster ride after another. Families temporarily set aside past offense to quietly “celebrate” the season, and “friends” / acquaintances extend obligatory “gifts” disguised as expression of kinship.
Gary Chapman, wrote a book in 1995 called “The Five Love Languages” , to help people understand how to meaningfully express love. Chapman expresses that within our self-centered lives, we tend to “give” love the same way we receive love. Chapman, points to five ways people receive love, and suggests that until we “express” contextual love to others, they do not “feel” loved.
The Bible tells us, “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Cor. 13:13. In prior passages, it tells me that even though I have great gifts and make significant sacrifices, without being underscored by love my actions have no return (it profits me nothing). So what is the universal language of love?
The Bible tells me how God demonstrated his love me for in Romans 5:8. To me, love is real sacrifice; it is the revision of my life’s priorities for the sake of others. 1 Cor. 13 4-7, speaks to this dynamic shift from Self, to Less of Self, the redirection from MY rights to doing what is right, the releasing of pride for the sake of the “pride”. It is thinking less of “I” and much of “we”. Matt 16:24 & 25, tells me that as I “deny” myself, bravely face my greatest fear, and follow Christ, I gain a life worth living. I lose me and gain “He”.
This past Sunday’s message set the stage for a life-changing year. In three hundred and sixty five days from today my life will be different. It will gravitate “directionally” toward the “things” I elect to focus upon. My quality and style of life will be daily affected as I journey from who I am to who I will become. Sunday’s message set the stage for consideration of this a life-altering question, what will be my focus, where will I journey this new year?
Thank you, John for delivering this message.