I Wish You…
Inevitably on the brink of another year, we traditionally wish one another a great year.
How many times since Christmas day, have you heard the words?
- Compliments of the season;
- Happy New Year;
- I wish you a Prosperous New Year,
Although traditional, these formal greetings may often lack real sincerity.
So then, what do I wish you as we launch out into 2022?
A popular song states “What the world needs now is love, sweet love.”
- If you were to give a definition of ‘love’ what words would you use?
A dictionary might use words such as tenderness, attraction, cherish, value, treasure, passion, and worship.
I Wish You Love
In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul describes this gem – love – by examining its various facets. In the first three verses of 1 Corinthians 13, Paul points out that love is recognised more by what we are than by what we do:
Paul then highlights the real qualities of love:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a NIV)
So then as you enter 2022 my wish for you is that since the Holy Spirit is the one who produces the fruits of the Spirit, which include love (Galatians 5:22), that he will grow in you all the facets of love.
Love for God
It was William Penn (1600s) an English writer and religious thinker belonging to the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), who said,
“Love is indeed heaven upon earth; since heaven above would not be heaven without it; for where there is not love, there is fear; but, ‘Perfect love casteth out fear.’”
Those three little words “I love you” are the most powerful words in the world. They reveal the depth of our affection for someone. Yet, are you always sincere when you utter those words?
Similarly, it is so easy to sing wonderful words of praise and worship, which express love for God and for Jesus, but do we always really mean them?
Having presented Israel with the 10 Commandments, Moses’ encouragement to Israel was,
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5)
- Is Jesus perhaps asking you the same question that He asked Peter centuries ago, “Do you love me?” (John 21:17)
I wish you a greater awareness in 2022 of the extent of God’s love for you and growth in your love for Him.
Loved and Appreciated
The following quote is attributed to Victor Hugo in Les Miserables ,
“The Greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved, loved for ourselves, or rather loved in spite of ourselves.”(Sourcebook for Speakers by Eleanor Doan – page 248)
Within each of us, there is a deep desire to be loved and appreciated for who we are.
A man and a woman who had been corresponding solely by e-mail fell in love with one another. They agreed to meet at the airport nearest to her. Since they had never seen one another, they devised a plan that would help them to recognise each other. She was to wear a green scarf, a green hat and have a carnation pinned to her coat.
When the man got off his plane, he immediately began looking for her. Suddenly he saw a woman with a green scarf, a green hat and a carnation. His heart fell. She was one of the plainest looking women he had ever seen in his life. He was tempted to get back on the plane without speaking to her.
Nevertheless, he walked over to this woman, smiled and introduced himself. Immediately, the woman said: “What is this all about, anyway? I don’t know who you are.” She went on to explain: “That woman over there gave me $5,00 to wear these things.”
When the man looked over at the woman mentioned, he realised that she was one of the most beautiful women he had ever seen.
The man approached the woman who later explained, “All my life men have wanted to be with me, to be my friend, because of my beauty. They consider me beautiful. I want someone to love me, not just for my outward appearance, but for what I am inside!”
My wish for you and for myself is that we will experience sincere love in 2022. That we will be loved for who we are and perhaps even in spite of who we are.
Give Love Away
- God is love.
- God loved us in spite of all our faults and flaws – enough to send His Son to die for our salvation.
- The only acceptable response to God’s amazing love is for us to give our lives to Jesus.
In return for our commitment to Jesus, the Holy Spirit sews God’s love into our hearts
But love is not loving till you give it away. That’s what love is all about – doing things for other people so that we can bless them.
I challenge you to find someone in need of love and appreciation this week, and to do whatever you can to allow God’s love to touch that person’s life.
My wish for you at the begining of a new year is what I wish for myself, that 2022 will be a year in which we learn how to be a channel through which God’s love may be passed on to those who need it most.