This week we not only approach the beginning of a new year but the birth of a new decade. Our family feels it especially, as my oldest daughter prepares to deliver her second child and we celebrate my second daughter’s twentieth birthday. I still remember the fear and uncertainty of expecting a child in the days before Y2K, when the world wondered whether we would experience widespread computer malfunctions that would send our banking and power systems into chaos since many computer programs used double digit dates for the year and we entered the year 2000, not 1900.
I think we typically approach milestone dates with unease and uncertainty. Am I where I thought I would be personally or professionally by this time? If not, why not? What are my goals and resolutions for the year? Do we typically set higher expectations for ourselves at the start of a new decade?
My hopes for my children, as they grow into adults, have shifted with time. In our early parenting days, I wanted to raise smart, accomplished children (and of course, I still do). The grades I made and the schools I attended were very important to me. Now what I want most is for them to be good, kind people, to make a difference in the world (even on the smallest of scales), to hold fast to faith, to live joyful lives. Although these expectations seem simple, look around and you’ll see they aren’t easily attained.
When our Heavenly Father looks down on us — His children — what does He hope to see? I imagine He’s more concerned with our character than our resume.
He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you
but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:8 (NKJV)
How would our lives change if we began 2020 shifting the focus from what we want to accomplish to what He wants to accomplish within us and through us?
I consistently fail at dieting, scheduling Bible study time, exercise goals, and a host of other resolutions, but I’ll always succeed when the goal is more of Jesus and less of me. The Bible reveals how God delights in working through simple men and women who are willing to be used for His glory — He spoke to us in the Bible through the writings of shepherds and fishermen. We don’t need eloquence or education to declare Him now.
God is unchangeable and so is His message. What He asks of us won’t empty our pockets, but it will fill our hearts. He simply wants us to love one another so well that we are known for it.
By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
John 13:35 (NKJV)
How do we have love for one another in our marriages?
How do we have love for one another on social media?
How do we have love for one another in an election year?
How do we have love for one another when someone else gets the job or the promotion?
How do we have love for one another when our kids are on our last nerve?
How do we have love for one another when our bank accounts and our gas tanks are empty?
How do we have love for one another when we just plain disagree?
How do we have love for one another when we’re short on hope?
How do we have love for one another when we don’t understand each other culturally?
In a country that in many ways is divided, how do we have love for one another with the unity and mindset of Christ?
These things can be just plain hard, but with God, all things are possible. Friends, please join me in prayer today:
Lord, let us enter this new year and new decade with our hearts turned to You. Let us clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, and above all love, as we are commanded (Colossians 3:12-14 NIV). Help us treat those around us, both the stranger and those we know best, with dignity. Help us love others so well that they are drawn closer to us, and let all we say and do point others towards You. In Your sweet name, Lord Jesus, we pray. Amen.
God simply wants us to love one another so well that we are known for it. -@DawnMHSH: Click To Tweet