Love Beyond Yourself

In case you’re not aware, it’s 2018. Another new year is upon us, and we’re left wondering where in the world did 2017 go. The new year always offers us the hope that it’s going to be better than the last. We all enter 2018 with a clean canvas and have the opportunity to paint our story. 2018 gets to be whatever we make of it.

Most people have made some sort of resolution for the new year. I have already seen a myriad of people resolve to lose weight, get 8 hours of sleep, read more, spend more time with family, etc. This is an excellent opportunity to examine your life and improve some aspect of it.

I’m not crazy about making resolutions for myself. I think that it has something to do with the fact that they tend to last a week or two, and then I forget or lose interest. Instead of resolutions, I like to make things that will be the focus of my year. Not necessarily tangible things but the way I want to live my life.

One thing that is majorly different in 2018 is that it has a lot more hope attached to it than in previous years. This is officially the year that I will be getting married. One of my focuses is to prepare myself for the married life. I want to be the husband that God has called me to be and the husband that Ali deserves.

The other aspect that I am going to focus on is one that I believe that all of us should be focusing on. In 1 Thessalonians 3:12, Paul desires that “The Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else.” I don’t think I’m going to blaze any new theological trails when I say that we need to love people better. It should be the chief attribute of any Christians. Jesus calls us to beyond ourselves with love in John 15:12, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

We are told to love others as Jesus loves us. Christ’s love for us is perfect, sacrificial, unconditional, and is offered to all people. That is the love that Jesus wants us to share with the world. It’s not optional; it’s a commandment straight for our Savior’s mouth.

We must put our faith into action and spread the love of God to all that we meet. God’s love doesn’t see race, economic status, past mistakes, or if the world thinks someone is worthy of it. We don’t get to decide who deserves God’s love and who doesn’t. The cross is big enough for all people, no matter their life circumstance.

The world is in desperate need of the love, hope, and light that is offered through our perfect messiah. The only way that it’s going to spread is if His followers are out in the world sowing the seeds. We’ve been given our marching orders, now it’s time to move.

We need to our love to “increase and overflow” for all people. We need to lay down our prejudices and judgments. There is only one judge, and that’s none of us. Let 2018 be the year that we go beyond ourselves to love bigger than we thought possible. Let us lay down our pride, humble ourselves, and fulfill the commandment that the King of Kings gave us. If we love people the way that Jesus loves us, we cannot fail!

Published by smith1626

I am the Director of Youth Ministries at St. John United Methodist Church in Scott Depot, WV. Mostly, I am a sinner saved by amazing grace.

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