As the New Year is quickly approaching, I have one question for you: How did 2014 work out for you?
Maybe you’re still waiting for something beautiful to touch your life.
With a new year comes a new set of resolutions for many people.
But what if you were limited to only one resolution – just one – what would it be?
Perhaps it deals with an area of your life you really need to improve on.
It would have to be tough to overcome, maybe something that has caused you constant failure in the past.
I have selected my New Year’s resolution, and it’s the hardest resolution I will have ever attempted.
For a guy like me, I may as well say I’m going to climb Mt. Everest and then bungee jump off the tallest cliff.
But I’m going to give it my all. I have to. I want something beautiful to touch me.
My 2015 Resolution is to Love like Jesus
I challenge you to do the same.
Just how would Jesus love my family, friends … and enemies … and even politicians that I struggle with?
Loving means learning to forgive, to forget, and then moving on.
It means replacing feelings of anger, or hatred, or old grudges with love.
It means that for those I love, I will love them more.
It means that for those who annoy me or I don’t want to be around, I will learn to love them and not hate them.
A wise man once said, you can pick your friends but you can’t pick your family. If you thought it was hard forgiving an enemy, try a family member.
You know who I’m talking about. It’s the mean-spirited relative you ask the host to sit the farthest from you at the holiday dinner table.
Well, no more.
This is going to be my toughest New Year’s resolution, but it’s what God wants me to do.
He wants me to look at His world and His people through the eyes of Jesus and ask myself, “Can I love like Jesus?”
Will Your 2015 Resolution Be to Love like Jesus?
Read God’s word, pray for an area in your life you want to improve, and search your heart.
Your resolution may be the same as mine.
Everything God does for the betterment of humankind is based on love, because God is love.
God’s Love created the world and its people.
God’s Love said, “Don’t destroy this stiff-necked people, redeem them.”
God’s Love said, “I will send My Son, Jesus, to die for you on the cross so that your sins are forgiven.”
God’s Love said to the Jewish people first, “My Son will be YOUR sacrificial lamb.”
God’s Love said to the gentile people, “I will love you equally through my Son.”
God’s Love said, “Through Jesus you WILL (not maybe, or if you are good enough, or if you work hard) have eternal life.”
God’s Love said, “Be born again, return to fellowship with Me, and experience the deep love I have for you.”
God is Love.
Looking at Love Through a Long Lens
Love is as simple as it is profound. It is a singular manifestation that wraps itself around the entire universe and holds everything in it together.
Love is such a strong concept that it spans both Old Testament and New Testament.
In Matthew 22:36-40, Jesus refers to the Jewish Law when asked, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
“Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.
“And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
The Ten Commandments are based on God’s Love. The first four deal with loving God, the last six deal with loving others. (Read them in Exodus 20)
Jesus said, “Love each other as I have loved you.”
Love is so important for the Christian that we are commanded to love others.
In John 13:34-35 Jesus said:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
So important is love, Jesus’ command is repeated in John 13:9-12 …
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
“If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
And what does love look like? Its beauty is found in 1 Cor. 13:4-7 …
“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.
“Love keeps no record of wrongs…”
When we are redeemed through the blood of Jesus, our sins are washed away for good. God does not bring them up. They are gone forever.
That is love. That is God’s Love. That is why His Love is a recurring theme in many of these blogs.
I hold dear God’s Love Letter to the world in John 3:16-17 …
“For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
God’s Love for you is great, as noted in Eph. 2:4-5 …
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved.
Here’s What it Means For You to Love Like Jesus in 2015
God’s Love will save you. And to love like Jesus… well, it could be one of the toughest things you will ever learn to do because hating is easy, loving is hard.
But loving is more productive than hating, it enriches rather than destroys. It allows good to always triumph over evil. It is beautiful.
So, from 2015 and beyond, I will endeavor to treat you with the decency you deserve.
I will treat you with the respect you are owed as a child of God.
I will treat you like I want to be treated.
I will love you as my brother and love you as my sister.
And I pray you will do the same.
My question to you is this: Do you want to see the world through the eyes of Jesus?
Then let God’s Love consume you like a roaring fire, allowing you to impart that love of Jesus to others.
If we do that, we just may find ourselves touched by something beautiful.