"Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33. "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, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."Matthew 22:37-39. "Be so busy loving God, loving others, and loving your life that you have no time for regret, worry, fear, or drama." (@IBloom). "You always have time for the things you put first." Kushandwizdom.
We made it to another year. Praise God! The New Year represents renewal, well at least a clean slate. We can either start anew or continue with business as usual. Each day that we open our eyes, we get a chance at a new start. However, with the advent of a New Year, collectively (the world) is mostly in agreement that a fresh start on a broader scale is in order. The opportunity to critique, adapt, adjust, get rid of, add, change, improve, etc., is ripe with possibilities. Things that were bogged down in everyday minutia throughout the year rise to the surface at the beginning of a new year, and for some reason, we can clearly make a plan to address them in a way that helps or dismiss them. There is something about a clear landscape or blank slate that heightens our creativity or at least sparks our desire to do better or to do something different.
New Year's resolutions notwithstanding, there comes a time or an interval in our lives when we reach certain thresholds that signal a time for a change. The start of the new year is one of those times for many people. It is especially poignant that entering a new year brings about a period of reflection. A brief look into the past has to take place in order to effectively plan for the future. Let us be honest, there may be some things that we did well, but there may be some things that we wish we could have done better. Not to worry. This is the human condition. We are never going to be perfect. The good news is that we can plan to improve and get better.
We know from life experience that there are consequences for every action that we take. This is not meant to be scary, simply a reminder that we have a lot to say about the outcome of the decisions that we make. Therefore, we must make wise decisions. The crucial thing to know and understand is the importance of prioritizing. There is an order to everything in the universe, and so it is with our lives. "For everything, there is a season, A time for every activity under the heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1. Because there is order, we need to make certain that we are focused when planning, taking into account timing. Remember, if we start out with priorities out of order, we will not reap the outcome we are looking for.
Life is not a dress rehearsal. The older we get, the more we understand this fact. "It is said that we only go around once, make it count." Well, at least we do not have to guess about how to do this the right way. Our priority has been given to us. Scripture clearly and specifically delineates what truly matters in life and the order in which it should take place. There is no need to spend a lifetime figuring this out. Put first things first: In other words, PUT GOD FIRST IN YOUR LIFE. "But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33. That is Priority One. Jesus made it plain how to live your best/blessed life in the following two commandments:
"Love the Lord 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." Matthew 22:37-39. The answer is so simple, yet the reward for compliance will richly bless your life and the many lives that have the privilege of knowing you.
The word of God advises that we will reap what we sow. That is good to know. In God's word, there is wisdom and truth. So why not take God at His word. In 2022, we want to be blessed (of course) so that we can be a blessing to someone else (of course). We can do so much good by opening our hearts and being willing to answer the call to service. Let's sow so much love, that the bountiful harvest we will receive of love will enable us to sow/show even more love and in doing so, demonstrate the love of God and inspire others to do the same. We do not have to travel to do a world of good. Begin at home. So, let's get started. There is work to do!
Get your priorities in order. Put God first. Seek Him first. You will learn about Him in his word (the Bible). Search His word to learn of His love and concern for us. He wants us to love Him first and He will enable us to love ourselves and others. In this way, we all experience the love of God. Love is an action that is taken. It is expressed in loving service to others.
Recruit (tell one person) to join you in sharing this love. And/or, find a prayer partner to pray for you as you go on this mission of sowing and showing love. This shows your level of commitment, and you also need love and support to follow through on the plans you have made.
Bring love to every situation (that includes when you are stuck in traffic or when you encounter rude people while being stuck in traffic (forgive me, this is a little personal). There is healing power in love. No matter the situation, love is appropriate. Some people seem to be beyond the effects of love. Nevertheless, applying love will get you through, and you will be modeling the love of God.
Pray for God's guidance. He will help you to be consistent through the situations that may be occurring in your life that may put you out of sorts or not up to living out your goal to sow love. In God's word, you will find the encouragement to keep moving. By praying, you seek God's guidance and help.
Do not give up. Even when it seems no one is interested in your efforts, keep showing love. When you plant flowers, for a long time it seems there is only dirt. Then in the spring, flowers bloom. Remember, you do the planting and the watering (sowing and showing love), God will give the increase.
The year 2021 was filled with a lot of instances that tested our patience and our resolve. Especially, since the pandemic is still raging. Yet, we made it through. We have many more challenges ahead, and the word of God is even more relevant than ever. If we can learn to treat others with the same love and concern that we want, then we will come out of this pandemic successfully. We will be living up to our true calling. There is power in love. Keep spreading it around. Genuinely live a life of love.
There are so many areas that love can impact. Pick an area and begin there and continue to fill needs as God directs you. Remember, what you put out there will come back to you. Reap a harvest of love! Love never fails. Set out to prove this. May God richly bless you in the New Year 2022! Get busy loving!! Again, Happy New Year!