A year ago, I thought God taught me something. The truth is, He did. And the problem? I'm still learning it.
It was back during last April. I looked at my life and realized that I was doing a lot of things for God, but I wasn't doing them with God. Ever since then, I've been in a constant struggle where I often forget and fall back into the same patterns. I write - for God. I live - for God. I read the Bible - for God. But what's the point if I'm doing it out of obligation instead of love?
You can read the post here. Or you could continue as I readjust my view slightly.
Those who are true Believers in Christ understand this verse from Titus,
But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.
We can't do anything to be saved by Jesus. It's all because of His mercy, His kindness, His love. Jesus saved us, period. But that doesn't mean we can throw up our hands and stop there. We should be doing good. (read verse 8) But those good works we do are in response to His saving grace - because we simply can't help it.
Let's look at it from a different viewpoint. A few weeks ago, I gave a handmade gift to a friend. I didn't want anything in return; I gave it because I wanted to show my love for her. But that friend chose to give me a gift when she came home from a trip. She didn't have to, but she did it anyway.
God gave us the ultimate gift (2 Corinthians 9:15). That's what Easter is all about, isn't it? Read one of the Gospels, and you'll discover the most beautiful love story - a Savior who gave His life to deliver and transform you into someone who could tell His story.
But we often get stuck. We understand that Story. We "invite" Jesus into our heart. But the relationship stops there.
The true value of love is something we just forget.
I try so hard to live a life for Jesus. I want to spread His story, so I do it on my own. I want others to have hope, so I try to give them a piece of mine. But nothing will happen if I miss the point.
You know this passage already. But do you live it?
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Dear friend, what's life if you don't love? What's ministry, serving, encouragement, if you don't do it out of love?
I can write the best books, the best blog posts, the best emails, but if I don't truly have love for the person at the other end, does it really matter?
Or what if we consider John's words?
He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
If God is love, can't we read 1 Corinthians 13 and put His name in the text?
If we speak and write the most beautiful, elegant words apart from God, we're just meaningless noise. If we're smart or wise or gifted or if we are more spiritual than anyone else but we don't have God, we are nothing. If we are the most sacrificial, generous people but don't have God, it profits us nothing. (my paraphrase)
Are we living lives that matter? Or are we gaining no true profit?
We can't attain our salvation. And we can't make a difference in the world on our own. But we can seek to discover more of God and embrace love so we can give it away to others.
Let's stop saying we love others and actually do it.
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren... My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
God's given us the opportunity to love. But to do that, it starts with our relationship with God. Do we love Him? Do we keep His commandments (1 John 5:2)? Do we seek Him with all our heart, all our soul, and all our strength (Deuteronomy 6:5)?
Let's not be meaningless noise. Let's love.
But how? How are you going to step out and love others radically, my friend? How are you going to seek Jesus more? Let's talk together below!
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.