Friday, March 29, 2013

Love One Another


John 12:34-35
"A new command I give you:  Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

On the first of January, in my blog found here, I declare 2013 to be the Year of Love.  I have high hopes and aspirations; after all, if I set out to give, acknowledge, and celebrate love in each and every day, how can I go wrong?  I can't.  This choice to consciously and purposefully love others has, in three short months, opened my eyes and my heart to see with more clarity and empathy than I imagined was possible.

I've trained myself to remember the word "love" within minutes of waking each morning.  Just thinking about it sets my day on the right track.  I look forward to the unfolding of each minute and hour, eager to see how the day progresses when love is at the forefront of my thoughts.

And, this is how the Year of Love is changing me:


  • Patience - I've never been a particularly impatient person, but I have my moments, especially when stuck in traffic or standing in a long line.  What I've noticed is how these things bother me less and less when I allow the word "love" to dwell in my mind.  Just recently, I am stuck at the grocery store check-out behind a woman redeeming a bazillion coupons.  It is taking forever!  But, instead of getting frustrated by the delay, I use the time for silent prayer.  What peace I have!  And, wow, how the time flies by!
  • Acceptance - Have you ever made a snap judgment about a stranger you see or a person to whom you have just been introduced?  I know I have.  I'll assess someone, fairly or unfairly, by his or her outward appearance, letting years of learned perceptions get in the way of simply seeing a fellow human being.  Now, when I catch myself on the verge of being judge and jury, I step back from those negative thoughts.  I remember that God made them and loves them.  I strive to see how God sees.  And, to see Christ in them.  I find it's easier than I thought to accept them just as they are.
  • Gratitude - I have experienced a heightened awareness of what it means to be thankful in all things.  Even the smallest of blessings become magnified beneath the lens of love.  Some days, my heart feels so full of gratefulness, it wants to burst!  That's when I catch myself smiling more and often, and laughing out loud for seemingly no reason.  But, there is, of course, a reason - it's love.
  • Generosity - Life is not about getting.  It's about giving.  Love cannot be contained within oneself or it ceases to be love.  It must be given away with extravagant generosity.  And, as it is shared with others, it multiplies exponentially.  It's catching!  Because, people who are showered with true, lavish, and overwhelming love are inspired to love others in the same way.
Best of all, by prioritizing love in my life, I constantly reflect upon the ways I can let the light of Jesus shine through me.  I am reminded that He commanded us to love one another just as He loves us.

Loves us so deeply, so intensely, so faithfully.  Loves us so much, He is willing to take our rightful place on the cross.  Loves us enough to die for our sins.

Loves us . . . that much . . .

~

On this Good Friday, will you remember Jesus' loving sacrifice made for you?

Will you pray with me?
Thank You, Father, for loving us so deeply, so intensely, so faithfully, that You sent Jesus, Your only beloved Son, to die for our sins.  Today, may we meditate upon the brutal price our Lord paid to free us, forgive us, and redeem us.  Amen.

16 comments:

  1. You picked a perfect theme for this year. Love radiates from you photo and from every word you write. I always feel like I'm basking in God's love when I visit here.

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    1. Oh, Galen, you are so kind! I'm gratified to know love shines for you here.
      Thanks so much for visiting, my friend!
      Love and blessings!

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  2. love is the greatest..and all that lasts. even faith and hope no longer exist in heaven, only love.

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    1. Yes! No greater love could we know but that of the Father's through Christ Jesus, His son.
      Thanks for coming by, Annmarie!
      Love and blessings!

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  3. The more love in our life Martha, the less fear. You make a great point here in that we can't simply be filled with love. Ok, we can :) but love is in our action and in our faith. Love has to be practiced and the four ways you mention are excellent ones. Especially gratitude and being generous. One of my goals this year is to give myself daily so I actively try to love by helping, giving or making someone's life better. If the whole world practiced more love each day, we would be in a peaceful and loving world.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Vishnu!
      Oh, it WOULD be one amazing world if everyone stopped, dropped, and loved one another, wouldn't it? I love your goal for this year, too - "to love by helping, giving or making someone's life better." Being the hands and feet of Jesus - YES!
      Have a happy and blessed Easter, my friend!

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  4. What a beautiful prayer Martha - gave me goosebumps. The words brutal price really summed it up well. And how often we forget how brutal that price was and yet your words evoked so much love for the Lord. Beautiful. Blessings to you and yours.

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Suzy, and so glad the prayer touched you so deeply. We do need to remember the passion if Easter is be the celebration it is meant to be.
      Blessings and love to you, too!

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  5. Thank you for sharing your journey to date through the Year of Love, Martha. It's amazing how God continues to love us into becoming better versions of ourselves. Happy Easter, dearest friend.

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    1. Yes, Corinne, it is so awesome how God keeps working with and through us. If we allow Him to, He can always change us for the better.
      Thanks so much for coming by.
      Joyous Easter to you and blessings, my friend!

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  6. What a beautiful post Martha, even though I am reading it a few days late LOL. Since the loss of my father, I have had little motivation to get on the internet. Eventually, I will be back. I did want to stop by and wish you a very blessed weekend though :)

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Mary!
      I have been keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers, my friend. I know it must be such a difficult time, but I know that, in time, God will heal your heart.
      Blessings and love!

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  7. Dear Martha,

    Thank you for the reflection on Love! It makes the world go around! I wonder if you have run into situations that challenge your idea of what love is since you chose that word for the year? That's been happening with me and the two words I chose for 2013: 'expansion' & 'order'. XOXO

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    1. Not what I would call any insurmountable challenges, Linda, though I can definitely see that happening down the road. Just hanging in there with love and continuing to smile!
      Thanks so much for coming by, my friend!
      Love and blessings!

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  8. I couldn't sleep that Good Friday night...esp. that I was preparing myself for confession. Reflecting on it now, the Lord has guided me to see how I've failed in many ways to love Him and other people. But He has also given me hope when He rose again... He's giving me a chance to love today...

    I pray with you...may we recognize the love God has for each one of us and may we be able to share this love to everyone including ourselves and those who are not easy to love.

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, dear Melissa!
      God does have a way of pointing us to our failures, yet doing so with such love and grace. Oh, and that we always have a chance to try again and do a better job of loving Him and others.
      Thank you for praying with me!
      Love and blessings!

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