The Purpose Driven Life
THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE
WE GLORIFY GOD BY LOVING OTHERS
Because God is love, He wants you to learn how to love. Galatians 5:14 says, “For all the law is fulfilled in this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Learning to love unselfishly is not easy. It is the opposite of our self-centered nature. That is why we are given a lifetime to learn it. God wants us to love everyone, but He is particularly concerned that we learn to love other believers.
As we have seen, after worshipping God, this is the second purpose for our life. 1 Peter 2:17 says, “Honor all people. Love the brotherhood.” Galatians 6:10 says, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Why? Because God wants His family to be known for its love. John 13:35, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
God trains us and the foremost of these is to practice loving each other. Love cannot be learned in isolation. You have to be around people who at times are irritating, frustrating and imperfect people. Love should be the top priority, your primary objective and greatest ambition. Relationships must have priority in your life above everything else. Why? Because life without love is really worthless.
1 Corinthians 13:3 says, “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.” Sometimes we act as if relationships are just part of our lives along with many other tasks. But God says that relationships are what life is all about. All Ten Commandments are about realtionships, the first four deal with God and the rest deal with people.
Matthew 22:37-40 says, “Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the first great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Relationships, not achievements or acquisition of things are what matter most.
Busyness is the great enemy of relationships. We become preoccupied with making a living, paying bills and accomplishing goals. Our schedules become overloaded and we cut back on giving time on relationships. We give it less time, energy and attention that what a loving relationship requires. The most important thing in life is learning to love God and then love the people around us, especially those in church.
Love will last forever. God tells us that love is most important because it is eternal. 1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “Three things will last forever, faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love.” Love is the most enduring impact you can leave on earth. When life on earth is ending, people do not surround themselves with objects that you can’t take with you. We want around us people that love us and that we love.
Don’t wait until you are on your deathbed to figure this out. Wisdom is learning this truth sooner than later. And we will be evaluated on this love by the Lord. Spiritual maturity is measured by the quality of our relationships. Jesus said the way to love Him is to love His family. Matthew 25:40 says, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of My brethren, you did it to Me.”
The importance of things can be measured by how much time we are willing to invest in them. A person’s priorities are related to how much time they give it. When you give a person your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you will never get back. We must prove that relationships are important by investing time. 1 John 3:18 says, “My children, let us not love in word, but in deed and in truth.”
The most desired gift of love is not diamonds or roses but focused attention. Ephesians 5:2, “And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us.” You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Love means giving up my preferences, my comfort, my goals, my security, my money, my energy and my time for the benefit of someone else. And the best time to love is right now. Ephesians 5:16 says, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Poverbs 3:27 says, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so. Why? Because you don’t know what happens tomorrow.
One day you will stand before God and here are some questions you need to consider. How do you explain when projects or things were more important to you than people? What priority do you need to reconsider so your life revolves more around people? What do you need to cut out of your schedule to start spending more time with people? The best use of your life is loving God and people right now.