Typically, as the new year arrives, we spend time thinking about what we want to carry forward and what we want to leave behind. We think about the things that we want to ‘start anew.’
It’s a new year full of new opportunities. As I grow older, I grow more and more thankful that I serve a God that makes all things new. Every time we see a sunrise, we can see it as a magnificent reminder that His mercies are new every morning. (Lam. 3:22-23)
I recently read 2 Corinthians 5:14-17 with a new perspective: “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that One died for all, and therefore all died. And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
This year, may Christ’s love compel me to pray a new prayer.
Lord, may Your love compel me to act and react as you would: with an extra measure of compassion, grace, mercy, and love.
Lord, may Your love compel me to look at others with Your eyes of love and see a potential bloom where others see a withering flower.
Lord, may Your love compel me to forgive people for offenses when the world tells me I’m justified in wallowing in self-pity, holding a grudge, or even seeking revenge. May Your love compel me to be the one with which bitterness ends and understanding begins. You don’t have a list of requirements, a test we must pass, or a list of grudges that You hold until your good and ready to forgive. You forgive us readily, rapidly, and repeatedly. Arms open wide. Eyes full of mercy. Heart full of grace. May Your love compel me to forgive as You do.
Lord, may Your love compel me to radically reach out to people that I wouldn’t ordinarily extend myself to – knowing that Your Holy Spirit will lead me if I allow Him to.
Lord, may Your love compel me go the extra mile, put forth the extra effort, and do all to the glory of You. May the way I use the gifts You gave me reveal how much You mean to me. May what I spend my time on reveal how much You mean to me. May where I put my resources reveal how much You mean to me. May my life’s pursuits be all about You.
Lord, may Your love open my eyes to the opportunities You place in my life daily in which to reflect Your character to a world that is hurting, cynical, and worn-out. A world that needs You…A world full of people divided on whether they need You or not.
May my actions, reactions, behavior, and words, point them in the direction of You. Point them in the direction of realizing that You are fully worth seeking and serving; fully worth loving and living for. May the praises from me to You let You know that I believe that You are worthy, oh so more-than-worthy, of living every moment and every day for.
Lord, may Your love be seen through me. May it overflow, and may someone see You through that overflow…and may they see that You are worth starting anew with, for, and alongside.
In Your precious, perfect name I pray.