What do you live for?
When it really comes down to it, there are only two options: love of God, or just plain fear.
A lot of times I find myself reacting to life: not wanting to work hard on my homework, being scared to feel any physical or emotional pain caused by effort, and so on and so forth. I sometimes find myself trying to live for pleasure, instead of focusing on working diligently and loving others. Instead of doing what I am supposed to, I’ve often ended up getting distracted by good things, but at the wrong time, and putting off important tasks until it causes me and people who rely on me far more pain in the end.
But God wants us to be motivated by His love: “Dear friends, we must love each other because love comes from God. The person who doesn’t love doesn’t know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:7) Also, “Perfect love drives out fear.” Obviously, this means love is pretty important. So what does this love mean for us? Here are a few verses to help us figure it out:
“Greater love has no one than this: that he lay down his life for his friends.”
(1 John 15:13)
“Have the same attitude as Christ Jesus had:
Although He was in the very form of God and equal with God,
He did not take advantage of this equality.
Instead, he emptied himself by taking on the form of a servant,
By becoming like other humans,
By having human appearance.
He humbled himself by becoming obedient [to the Father] to the point of death, death on a cross…”
Does this passage sound familiar? It should! We learned these verses at camp this past summer! You see, loving God and living for Him means being humble, like Jesus was, and being obedient to God…no matter what the cost. It means living your whole life as a sacrifice – giving up everything – to God. (Rom 12:1) It might sound hard, but Jesus was the perfect example.
Jesus came down, leaving a beautiful heaven, perfect comfort, perfect fun, and perfect joy and peace, to be born in a dirty animal stable. He grew up the son of a poor carpenter. He was believed and betrayed, loved and hated, worshiped…and crucified. He went through extreme discomfort, without a reliable roof over His head, as He wandered and preached. He lived constantly with the knowledge of the suffering that lay ahead: the crucifixion. Not just physical, bodily suffering, but also separation from God, and thus, from all joy, hope, and goodness. He died in our place, taking our sins upon Himself. He took separation from all goodness, and the torturous suffering, that we deserve. He gave up all comforts and even His very life so that in His blood we could be cleansed, and so that He could call us His children, and His friends. Then He rose again to conquer death and show us true life, because His love was too strong to be stopped even by death! He gave up everything for me. He gave up everything for you.
That is love.
When you spend time with Jesus, praying, reading your Bible, and choosing to trust Him by living how He wants us to, you can come to understand His love more and more. And what an amazing love it is! Our God is always perfectly kind, perfectly patient, and perfectly faithful, even when we are not. We grow to love Him, trust Him, and fear Him in the sense that we trust and respect who He is. We can always trust that He will provide, and that He will strengthen us and work through us when we step out in faith in a new way. It means that you don’t need to be scared of anything in life, because Jesus is always right there with you, and time and again you’ve trusted Him, and know that you can trust to help you do the right thing again and again. You don’t need to be scared of putting in working hard and well, or talking to the new kid, or of needles, or even of death. And it means that you know how much God loves you, and love Him so much in return, that you want to live for Him always to thank Him for it.
Knowing Jesus is worth every sacrifice, and knowing Jesus is the ultimate adventure.
Because knowing Jesus is worth every sacrifice, and knowing Jesus is the ultimate adventure.
*For more on this topic, you can read Philippians 2 and 1 John 4.
Questions? Comments? Leave them below!
Love, Allegro :)