“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12: 29 – 31
The year is coming to a close and it’s time to think about the next one – 2015! And what about those New Year’s Resolutions? For the most part, they can be pretty useless, can’t they? If making them happen could only be as easy as saying them! I’ve found that I have to really want whatever it is I make a vow to do. I have to be 100% committed – body, heart, mind, and soul.
And this year I know what I have to do and want to do. I want to become healthier – with more exercise, a better diet, and much more rest. And January 1st is my kickoff date! A new year, a new me – fully committed and ready to go. I pray I can do it. I pray for strength, patience, determination, and a love for myself that will make me motivated to carry it through, and hopefully it will pay off, give me more energy, and enable me do all those things I hope to do!
But there is another resolution I have this year and that is to follow this verse and His command – to love Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love others. Through writing these devotions, I have learned so much about God’s love for us – for each of us individually – and that He deserves nothing less than our full love and devotion in return.
The only way to truly know Him is to love Him with everything in us. And to love Him for the God He is, we have to believe in His promises, to trust in His sovereign care, and to have the assurance of His abiding presence with us. Loving Him and seeing Him in everything we do can make life so much more worthwhile and fulfilling. It takes the focus off of ourselves and those anxieties and concerns that can take up so much space in our hearts and minds, and helps us to see His grace.
I pray we will spend time with Him and show our gratitude for all the many blessings He has given us and our families. I pray we will make Him a part of every day and not let our thoughts drift away from Him. May we know that only He can give us true rest instead of always searching for something to fill our hearts and to satisfy our longings. I pray we will know Him even more and love Him with a greater love than ever before.
As we love Him, His love will radiate to those around us and make us more accepting and loving of others. Others will see Christ in us through our words, our deeds, and the way we live our lives.
To love more. “There is no commandment greater than these.”
Dear God, as this year comes to a close and another one begins, we pray you will fill our hearts with a longing to know you more and love you with all our hearts, minds, and bodies. And we pray that in loving you, our hearts will be more open to loving and serving others. We thank you for the blessings of the past year and for the gift of your love and grace. Amen