Store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven
where moth and rust cannot destroy and thieves cannot break in and steal

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What's The Point?

Do you ever wonder about that? Is there a point to this existence? Seriously? What are we doing here? What are we supposed to accomplish? And if there is something that we're supposed to accomplish how do we figure out what it is?
I read somewhere that the apostle John, the man who wrote the Gospel of John, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John, and Revelation, the man of whom it was said, 'He was the one who Jesus loved,' I read somewhere that as he was being carried into his last gathering of Christians (Church) he was asked, “How are we to live?” And, according to the account, John replied, “Love one another. Do this and it will be enough.” Of course John got that idea from hanging around with Messiah Jesus, Who has said to all of us who claim to follow Him, “Love others as I have loved you.”
Sounds like a good idea - right? Here's the catch. Jesus loves His enemies. He came to pay the penalty for our sins while we were/are still His enemy. And then He said, “Even pagans can love those who love them. but I say, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Pray for those who persecute you.”
Well, I'm coming up to completing 63 years on this earth, 32 of those years trying to learn what that means to be a follower of Jesus. And as near as I can figure out, Jesus has asked us to do the impossible. It is simply not possible to love others as Jesus loved us – not I must add – without Jesus pouring His love into us first.
In order to love others as Jesus loves us, we must be enthralled with, and staggered by the character of our Redeemer, our Lord and our Saviour. Our love for Jesus must be such that everything we think, do, and say is motivated by this love for Christ. The peace and security from being in that kind of a relationship with one's Creator must be the core of what drives us. In order to love others as Jesus loves us, we must be regularly humbled by the grace of our Creator. Our hard and evil hearts need to be softened every day by spending quality time with Jesus. That is the only way that we as humans who are corrupt to the core can have developed within us a heart of tenderness, patience, forgiveness,and mercy.
When we love others as Jesus loves us, we do not love out of an inner need to please or to be accepted. Instead this other love is a natural consequence of an inner love for and from our Saviour. For how can we encourage others to forgive when forgiveness is not part of our own life? How can we encourage others to live lives of integrity if our own life is filled to the brim with inner contradictions? In order to be able to love others as Jesus loves us, we have no choice but to meditate on the presence and promises, and daily care that Jesus provides for us. As James 1:17 says, “ALL good things and EVERY perfect gift is from above. Coming down to us from the Creator of the universe in whom there is no shifting or changing like shadows.”
So difficult is the command of Jesus to love others as He loves us that both Richard Dawkins and Chris Hitchens recognized and admitted that it is impossible. Their choice of course is to reject the concept wholesale. We as followers of Jesus don't have that choice.
It is only Jesus' love that is working in us that can protect us against all the other potential idols of this world that vie for our attention and devotion. It is only when we worship our risen Lord that we will be able to guard ourselves against self-esteem and self-glory that is destroying not only humanity but the planet itself. Only a person who is marinaded in Jesus' love who can be turned into a humble giver of grace. Only deep gratitude for a suffering Saviour can make a person willing to suffer for one's enemy. Only a person who has “found contentment in any situation,” that can absorb hatred with no loss to self. It is only when we've been broken by the reality of our forgiveness that we can give grace and mercy to those to whom God has called us to serve. It's only when “my hope is built on nothing less,” that we become free from building the foundation of our identity on the sand of worldly value.
What's the point of this existence? The point is to glorify our Creator by loving others as Jesus loves us – sacrificially, eternally, unconditionally.
It is only when we experience, on a daily basis, the love of Jesus, the peace of His forgiveness and the hope of new character that we become passionate for others to experience the same rescue.

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