Loving to live the best life.
1 John 3:16
16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. (NIV)
Religion reduces Christianity to obeying all the rules. New Age and Eastern religions reduce spirituality to the emulation of another person be it Christ or Buddha. But the idea that following the rules or living to be like someone else will motivate us to live the life God has called us to is naïve. In the end, it is grasping the love of God and what He has done for us that creates in us, first, a thankful heart, then we discover how loved we are. These open our hearts to Christ and we love Him more. We will then obey Him and live like Him out of love for Him. Love is the catalyst to life in pronounced abundance.
This life comes not from knowing we are loved. That is only the beginning. As we learn how we are loved by God, our love for Him increases. To love Him, He teaches us, we love one another as He loved us.
The pinnacle of a fulfilled life comes in living out this love. Setting the well-being of others as our highest priority moves us into the abundant life Christ offers. Living out the life of Christ to others morphs life from the mundane to the exhilarating.
To do this, we must take up our cross Jesus said. He is not calling us to die the same death, but symbolically, we are to allow the sin in us to be nailed to the cross of Christ on Calvary. This is an exercise of faith. It is to live with assurance He took our sin and gave us His righteousness. He gave us power to resist every selfish whim and to pursue a life of giving others what they need to prosper in their soul. If they need truth, we speak it in love. If they need forgiveness, we give it with comfort. If they need wisdom, we share what God has taught us. If they need space, we wait patiently.
The Spirit will help us to see what people need each moment. To give up our agenda to make them our priority opens Heaven’s gate right here, right now. The crux of following Christ is giving our life up in love to others as He did for us.
Prayer: Lord, help me to crucify the priorities of self to live for others in love for You. Amen.