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New Year Wishes of Love by LaTanya Dixon

December 30, 2010

I’m sitting here reflecting on the fact that there is 1 more week until the New Year begins. In the past, I can recall listening to many Watch Night sermons or having several conversations about getting ready for the New Year. There would be certain songs like “The Best is Yet to Come,”  “Walk into Your Season,” “The Prayer of Jabez (Enlarge My Territory)”, etc. that could be heard frequently around that time. Anticipation for the new year could become a very emotionally charge thing whether one was grateful for the present year or couldn’t wait to see the year go. Much of the emotion would be about believing for something bigger and better in the new year. Then, the faith messages would come and talk of the new year being the “year of new beginnings, year of completion, year of overflow…” Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Admittedly, some people have had such a tumultuous year that they need encouragement and strengthened faith. However, they get that plus some disillusionment. As I too continue hoping and believing that my tomorrow will be even better than yesterday, I want to suggest what we might really need. 1 Corinthians 13:13 assures us that when left with three: faith, hope, and love; love is the greatest of them all.

In believing for a job, better marriage, nicer things, healing, weight loss, more money, greater spiritual diligence, a new start, etc. what we really need is love…not more faith (in my opinion). What we really need is more intimacy with Jesus Christ, the one in whom we have placed our faith.  Then, we will be more content and patient with the state we are in until he permits it to change. A deeper love relationship with Christ also brings about more obedience to God’s principles for living which result in improved marital relations, financial stewardship, healthier lifestyle, and more.

This love is so important that Jesus prayed the following prayer to the Father before being arrested: “I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” (John 17:26) Jesus also shared that loving God and loving your fellow man are the greatest commandments of the Bible. All other commandments hinge off of those two great commandments (Mark 12:29-31, Matt. 22:37-40). That being said, my prayer is that the love of God would be made complete in us in 2011. I pray we would love and serve each other more in the new year (1 John 4:12). I pray we will not be satisfied with another message of being exalted ourselves, but Christ instead.

That is not to discourage us from asking and believing for better in the new year because the Bible tells us to ask (Matt. 7:7-10, 8:13). But, I am not sure we would do that much better with an improved life if it is not all motivated by love. For God is love. Besides, a surefire way to strengthen our faith for God’s provision is to learn and experience more of His love. Don’t agree? Think about how much inherent your trust is in your family and friends’ provision when you know how much they love you. I hope you enjoy your last week of 2010 and have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

 

LaTanya Dixon

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