I began a series of articles last month for the purpose of inviting my readers to reconsider the purpose for which they live. You have one life to live, and it makes sense that you would want to be a good steward of the life you’ve been given. If you haven’t read last month’s Live to Love blog, you can do so here. In short, it’s obvious as you meet people, they live for many different things. What do you live for?
Your answer to that question is important. When you come to give an account of your life to God, Who created you, what you lived for and what you should have lived for will become crystal clear. For a guy who lived for himself, sports, a girlfriend, and the approval of people, the Scriptures we will consider over the next several months caused me to rethink who and what I was living for. I’m hoping they will inspire you to also look seriously at your purpose in life. In Live to Love: Experience Freedom and Joy in Relationships (from which the following is an excerpt), I state that if you trust in Jesus Christ as your savior, then God has called you to know Him and live to love with Jesus. Here’s the first and most important reason I think you should rethink what and who you live for. This should motivate us to refocus on knowing God and living to love with Jesus.
Live to love with Jesus because God is love.
The first reason to live to know God and love with Jesus is based on the foundational truth that God is love. John, the beloved apostle, didn’t leave any room for doubt about the nature of God when he wrote, “God is love” (1 John 4:8). God loves His children with an agape love—an unfailing, sin-nullifying, life-giving, soul-satisfying, circumstances-overcoming, eternal love—because He is love.
Out of the fullness of His love, the Father sent His Son to justify, forgive, and redeem us.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
Out of the fullness of His love, the Lord Jesus Christ, as our mediator, presents us sinless and blameless before the Father.
“Yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach.”
Out of the fullness of His love, the Holy Spirit pours God’s love into our hearts and helps us love as we have been loved.
“And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
The more we know Him, the more we comprehend the dimensions and the fullness of His love.
“That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”
The Scriptures teach that because of God’s great love, even while we were sinners, He made us alive together with Christ.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).”
How great is God’s love? Its greatness swallows the universe. If every orb in space were inhabited by as many sinners as there are grains of sand on earth’s shores, His love could fill all their empty souls and there would be no recognizable drain on His resources. His fullness would remain, and His love still could save another million universes full of His creatures. How awesome and infinite is the love of God! The transforming power of His great love also has no limits. No one lies beyond His reach, and neither the most wicked sin nor the greatest number of sins can block His love once it moves toward such a sinner. The most troubled heart can find peace, rest, and comfort in His arms of love.
There’s a difference between knowing God is love as a fact and knowing it by experience. To know anything merely as a fact produces arrogance if that knowledge is not softened by the grace of humility. It’s natural for pride to rise up when we think we know something that others don’t know. Paul warned the Corinthians, “knowledge makes arrogant.” That can be true, even when the fact we know is that God is love. But to know God Himself by experience is to know love by experience. When He reveals Himself and His love, we know without a shadow of a doubt that there’s no place for pride about being loved by God, or about knowing Him. It’s just the opposite. It’s humbling. God’s love is so overwhelming and life-changing because we know that we’re undeserving of such forgiveness, love, and revelation. What kind of love is this that loves a condemned sinner? It’s transforming love! After warning the Corinthians about the relationship between knowledge and pride, Paul continued, “but love edifies.”
“Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies.”
(1 Corinthians 8:1b)
When we know God and are convinced that we are known and loved by Him, we can’t help but respond to Him with love. God’s love edifies, or builds up the recipient, and then continues to bless everyone around him.
My wife, Alma and I, grew up knowing the fact that God is love and that He loves us, but we were powerless to love each other because we still had things out of order. Our relationship with each other was similar. We could say it and sing it, but our love was empty because it was factual and not experiential. Then Jesus invaded our lives, woke us up spiritually, and caused us to rethink how we were living and what we were living for. He poured His love into us as we understood Jesus’ work on the cross for us and the significance of His resurrection to us. This produced a security and peace in our lives that set us on an adventure of growing in His love and learning how to express His love to each other. This change didn’t happen overnight. We’re still on the transformational journey, but how sweet it is now! He loves us like He loves His own Son, Jesus Christ—with intimate fellowship, unity, and harmony in our relationship. Isn’t that amazing!
“And 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.”
If you are not yet convinced of His great love for you, then you don’t know Him yet as He wants you to know Him. God may be known intimately through His Word, prayer, and meditation. Time with Him, seeking His face (His presence), asking Him to reveal more of Himself and His love, and waiting to hear from Him will not disappoint. God loves to prove His love. As Paul wrote to the Romans, even while we were sinners, God demonstrated, or proved, His great love for us in giving His Son to die in our place.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
If God proved His love while we were His enemies, how much more will He continue to prove His love day by day as we rely upon Him and find Him to be faithful? Because knowing His love is our theological foundation for being able to love others, you can ask with confidence for God to reveal Himself and His love until your doubts are gone and you are firmly convinced that He loves you!
So the first reason to rethink what you live for and to refocus your life is that God is love and has poured His love into your life. His love has been revealed through His forgiveness, His promises, and His transforming power, and He continues to prove His love to you every day in His reliable, faithful presence and provision.
If knowing that God is love and that He’s the One before whom you’ll give an account isn’t enough to inspire you to rethink what you are doing with your life, then there are still six more reasons to consider in the months ahead. If you can’t wait to discover the other six, then I invite you to visit www.livetolovewithjesus.com and download the ebook or audiobook or order the book in print. You can begin enjoying the Live to Love adventure today!