If someone were to ask you what the secret for living a fulfilled life is, what would you say? There are probably a dozen great responses.
Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, John recorded Jesus’ prayer for Himself, His disciples, and all believers in John 17. Jesus asks God to make it clear to the world that He loves them even as He is loved. Of all the things Jesus could have asked God I find it profound that He focused in on His Father’s love (vs.23-26). Then I discovered that all 27 books of the N.T. share vital truths about love! Hmmm.
2 Thessalonians 3:5—May the Lord bring you into an ever deeper understanding of the love of God and the endurance that comes from Christ. (NLT)
I believe the key to living a fulfilled life comes through a commitment on our part to understand and embrace that God is love and that God loves us. Let me explain why. Love is patient, kind, humble, others-focused, truth-affirming, protecting, trusting, hopeful, long-suffering and never fails(1 Corinthians 13:4-8). When we grasp that this is what God is about for us, our lives cannot help but be profoundly changed.
Now it might seem rather obvious to you that God’s love is important. But knowing this is not the same thing as understanding it. The former speaks to a mental awareness while the latter reveals a Christ-centeredness. A man can know God loves him and end his life because of depression. But no man who understands his significance, by appreciating God’s love, can commit suicide—no matter how depressed he is because his life is not his own—it belongs to the Lord. A woman aware God loves her can operate independently from Him. No woman who fathoms the depths of her Father’s love can stand a day separated from Him!
To understand God’s love requires effort on our part. His love is not capricious. It is extended to those obedient to His will. It is magnified by purity. It necessitates faith. We must believe that He knows what is best for us and accept His plan even when it counters what we would naturally choose. It is jealous and rewards those resolved to place Him first before all else in priority and principle.
Understanding God’s love liberates us from legalism, the need to have all the answers, and the driven mindset that we must do significant things to be significant. It gives us the ability to rest in the midst of tempests. Animated joy replaces mechanical, by-the-numbers living. Hope is the speech of choice. Peace transcends physical suffering. Confidence bounces above persecution. Value is attained regardless of our upbringing, circumstances, or the voices of demon-accusers.
I cannot think of any situation or circumstance which God’s love cannot cure! Understanding His love enables us to persevere! Our nail-spiked Savior willingly hung on the cross confident of His Father’s love; deeply determined in His own love for mankind. When divine love is misunderstood, ignored, rejected, and rebelled against, people wilt beneath the suns of strain and moons of melancholy. Test your own heart. Are you living a meaningful life or is life just mean?
Earth’s crammed with heaven and every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees takes off his shoes the rest sit around it and pluck blackberries.—Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Many see, but few understand.—Jewish Proverb
Don't try to reach God with your understanding; that is impossible. Reach him in love; that is possible.—Carlo Carretto
The insight that relates us to God arises from purity of heart, not from clearness of intellect.–-Oswald Chambers
©2002 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)