Make This Your 2019 New Year’s Resolution:
To Grow in Love for God and Others
Have you thought about a New Year’s resolution for 2019? The chart below shows some of the most popular annual goals among the 68% of us who dream of being a better person in the new year. If you have thought about doing something this year to improve your life, I’m hoping my suggestion will be appealing: Resolve this year to grow in your love for God and for others.
Maybe you’re more in sync with those in the anti-new-year’s-resolution crowd who feel that they’re simply setting themselves up for failure and discouragement if they even set a goal at all. If that’s the case, then I hope you’ll reconsider. If you’re a believer in Jesus Christ, spiritual life resides in you and, therefore, as I wrote in last month’s Chariot of Fire, growth happens. You don’t need to be afraid of failing to grow in love if you create the right environment and nourish His Life within you.
Grow in love through prayer
Last year I resolved to pray what I call the i-livetolove prayer every morning (and I will continue to pray it for the rest of my life, by God’s grace). I tweak it some each day as I pray from my heart rather than by rote repetition. The prayer below is just a guide. I have not been disappointed in how the Holy Spirit has used this simple prayer to keep me focused on why I am alive in Christ.
Father in heaven, thank You for another day of life to live to know and love You and to live to love with Jesus. Anoint and fill me with the Holy Spirit, the presence and power of Christ, so that I can love and trust You and love the people You put in my path today, for Your glory.
I believe the Holy Spirit inspired this prayer using foundational truths from God’s Word. As I’m writing a new book, Live to Love with Jesus: Experience Freedom and Joy in Relationships, the prayer has expanded. I believe God intends to pour out His love in and through His people so that the world can know that He sent His Son to save them from their sins and love through them. Here’s an addition to the prayer that I pray often, resulting in my heart being moved and warmed by God’s heart for the nations.
Pour out Your love among the nations of the world through Your people in a fresh and powerful way so that a dark world may know that You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to be with us and save them from their sins. You promised to bless the nations through us. Raise up a faithful army of disciple-makers who live to love with You for the glory of Your name. Here I am, Lord. Cleanse me and use me today.
Purpose to grow in love this year for Jesus’s name’s sake
Imagine the impact there would be around the world if God’s people really grasped how God intends to use them as they love Him and love those He puts in their paths with Jesus’ love. I hope you’ll read and meditate on John 17:20-26. These verses contain the prayer of the Lord Jesus for His disciples, as well as for those who would believe through their witness. Notice that Jesus’ prayer was based upon God’s desire for the world to know that He was sent by the Father. This means that as we pray for God’s love to be poured out in our lives, we are praying for Jesus’s name’s sake.
20“I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. 24Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; 26and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:20-26).
Praying for the sake of Jesus’s name should breed a greater confidence and hope in our prayer lives. In the last words Jesus spoke to His disciples before going to the cross, look at what He promised His followers about asking in His name.
“Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13).
“If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:14).
“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you” (John 15:16).
“In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you” (John 16:23).
“Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full” (John 16:24).
So how about it? Will you make growing in love for God and others your New Year’s resolution for 2019? I hope so. I encourage you to pray the i-livetolove prayer each morning before you move on in your day. Picture yourself before the throne of God, asking the Father in the name of Jesus for the very thing He desires to give you—the knowledge of His love and the power to love with Jesus. May God bless you as you walk in love in 2019.
Have you been ministered to through Elijah Ministries?
If you have benefited from our resources, would you consider making a one-time or a monthly donation before the end of year? When you give, you can have the confidence of knowing that, under God and by His grace, your funds are having an eternal impact as they enable us to continue to minister with God-centered resources and to launch the Live to Love with Jesus Adventure, which we pray will eventually be used by God to call millions of His people to live to love with Him. If you wish to give specifically to the Live to Love adventure, please note it on your check or donation. Thank you for considering this request and for your continued support through prayer.
Do you have a testimony of how Equipped to Love has impacted your relationships?
We are collecting a pool of testimonies from which we will choose several that we can use in the new Live to Love with Jesus video resource. If God has used the truths of this book to impact your life, will you please send us a brief written account describing your experience? Please summarize the truth that has helped produce freedom and joy in your relationships. You can send an email here. Thank you so much for praying for us and for giving out of that which the Lord has supplied to you