Do you really set resolutions? What kinds of people do and what kinds don’t? It is never too late to reflect on the lessons God has been teaching us. Our voice, Sandy shares with us her resolutions for 2013 and her journey towards love and grace.
I am so deficient. We all are. We all keep on trying but it is never enough. Some just give up others become frustrated in their attempts. As Christians, many of us read, hear and say to each other we will be better people, better Christians. We want to be more real to each other. We want to serve God.
But alas, it is not easy.
One thing I’ve tried to learn to do in 2012 is to be a better neighbour to, well, my neighbours. I am glad to say I do know some of my neighbours a bit more than in 2011. I can look back in the year and see how I tried to step outside my comfort zone to reach out.
But perhaps God is setting up the lesson(s) for 2013…
Love and Grace
A few weeks ago I started thinking about how LITTLE love and grace I really have. Really. When I think of it so much of what I do is conditional. It is nothing like what God does for us. I mean, I try to reach out to my neighbours, for example. But how did I react when one neighbour criticized the food we shared with them? My reaction was to make a mental note of it and be more ‘careful’ about future endeavours to reach out.
Is that really reaching out in love and grace?
Or, how do I respond when I become discouraged while serving in the church? I naturally respond by setting a mental note to myself because I do not want to feel frustrated again. Often, the response involves looking for a way to avoid what I thought was the reason for the discouragement.
Is that really serving out of love and grace, as the Lord teaches me?
I think I have much more to learn in 2013. Yes, I suppose I have a resolution because I have much more to learn. I am far from perfect.
The question God has been challenging me with:
Will you continue to serve these people in my name even if all of them flat out reject your love?
Will you continue to serve God’s people in Jesus’ name even if the ‘results’ of the reaching out does not look like what you think should be a natural response to that sort of ‘love’?
Can I continue to love when there is no love or appreciation in return?
I must confess I am not there. I know the source of the love and grace cannot come from within me. My love and grace is so conditional. But God’s love and grace abounds and it is my source. My problem is that I let all the other ‘stuff’ in life cloud my focus. And that, is one of the hardest things to do…because we are called to continue to love and show grace ONGOINGLY, DAILY.
But fret not. I am glad I have been given the lesson plan by God my Father. I know what I need to learn in 2013.
And funny enough, read what I blogged exactly a year ago. Seems there is a common theme — “continue to love, child, as I continue to pour my perfect love in you”
And I know with His Perfect Love and Grace I shall come forth victorious.
What are your resolutions for 2013?
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ~ Romans 5:8
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. ~ Colossians 4:2-6
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. ~ John 15:12
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. ~ Colossians 3:12-14
Editor’s Note: This was originally posted on http://liveoutloudmom.blogspot.ca/ on Dec. 31, 2012