Start the New Year off with Love
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud. Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not get upset with others. Love does not count up wrongs that have been done. Love takes no pleasure in evil but rejoices over the truth. Love patiently accepts all things. It always trusts, always hopes, and always endures. - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
The Bible mentions a lot about love because it is an important trait that Christians must have. God is love and first showed His love by sending His son, Jesus to die on the cross for our sins (John 3:16), (1 John 4:19). Jesus knew the importance of love and has the power to change hearts and lives. That is why Jesus gave us the command in John 15:12 to “Love each other as I have loved you”.
When we love others like Jesus, it breaks the stronghold the devil has in our lives. That is why we are told in Luke 6:27-28, “To love our enemies and do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who are cruel to you.” When we do these things, it shows that we are true children of God and His Spirit is really living in us (Luke 6:35-36), (1 John 4:12).
It may not be easy, but the Bible tells us that “With God all things are possible” (Mark 10:27). It is possible to love others with God’s help and is impossible without Him. It is a process to love the way God does and will take time to love others who struggle with past pain that was caused by another.
Loving others can also include correcting them if they are doing sinful things. Even God corrects people He loves by punishing them (Hebrews 12:6), (1 Peter 4:8). This kind of love first involves confronting the person of their sin. If they refuse to change and stop sinning, then take them to a trusted church member for help. If they still do not change and continue to sin, then their punishment must be that they are removed from the church (Matthew 18:15-17). Removing them from the church is a way to help lead them to repentance (1 Corinthians 5:5).
During the new year, let’s try to love others who are hard to love. We may be surprised what God will do in our hearts and in our relationships.
Prayer of the day:
Dear heavenly Father,
Help us to love others the way You do. Sometimes it is hard to love others who are not nice or have hurt us. You are the example of love that we must follow because You are love. If we do not love others, then Satan can use the stronghold of hate against us. Please give us wisdom and the ability to love others in a way that You tell us to. Loving others can help change people’s hearts and lives who never felt love before. There are a lot of different characteristics of love so please help us to apply them to our daily lives. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!