What does God expect of us? How are we supposed to live? What is our purpose? Where do we find meaning for life? Jesus answers all of these questions in Matthew 22:37-40. He says that if you want to sum up all of the Old Testament teachings about life, then this is it – love. Not amassing possessions, not having a great job or a perfect family, not power or fame or popularity. Our purpose in life is to love.
First of all, love God with all your heart, soul, and mind – with every part of your being. This is not a hobby, a mere extra. This is what life is about. Love God with everything you have. Live with a burning hunger for God. Like the Psalmist, pant and thirst for God (Psalm 42:1-2). Desire him – desire to know him and walk with him and serve him and please him – more than anything else. Live with a passion for God.
But that isn’t all. Jesus says to love our neighbor – the person next to us, the person near enough to show love to. Love other people. Love your family. Love your friends. Love the people you work with and for. Love the people in your school. Love the person in the checkout lane, the driver in the car in front of you. Love the family that lives next to you. Love your church family. Love that person who really irritates you. Love people whether you like them or not. Love people. Treat them well – like you want to be treated (Matthew 7:12). Live with compassion for people.
Love God and people. Live with a passion for God and compassion for people. What would motivate us to live with this kind of love? The answer found in Scripture is simple – God’s love for us. “We love because he first loved us” (I John 4:19). “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). And nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39). The more we grasp his love for us, especially his love expressed through the cross, the more we will be motivated to love in response.
So, to put it all together – because of Christ’s passion for us, we will live with a passion for God and compassion for people. This is the purpose and meaning of life. This is what life is all about. And this is what the Eph5v2 blog is all about – to explore together how to live with passion.