In principle, the purpose of existence almost seems simple.
“Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31).
In practice, no greater challenge confronts us than God’s call involving unselfish devotion to Him and to people. Our bent toward selfishness, passed down through the ages from Adam, motivates us to the pleasing, promotion, and protection of ourselves. We naturally flow with the current of “All seek their own” rather than setting sail in the river of Divine love, which “seeketh not her own” (Philippians 2:21; I Corinthians 13:5).
One Man made the voyage of unselfish devotion to God and others.
“The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 28:20).
The Spirit of this same glorious One fills and overfills our hearts when we believe (Romans 5:5). Through the Lord Jesus Christ, born again believers possess the capacity to obey the two great commands of both Old Testament and New. We can love God and we can love others. A challenge too great to fulfill becomes an adventure too thrilling to miss. “To live is Christ” declared the Apostle Paul, meaning to live is to love (Philippians 1:21).
Certainly, the challenge remains because we live in a fallen world wherein a fallen devil and fallen flesh (including our own) still press us to the black hole of self-centered narcissism. We’d all admit that too often we have succumbed to the temptation. However, the events of the past do not nullify the promise of the present. I may not have loved God and others a minute ago, but the redeeming power of Christ’s blood and Spirit mean that I can love God and others in this moment. And I must, if life to be truly lived because, again, to live is Christ (a.k.a. - to live is to love God and others).
The love of this moment relies on the faithfulness of God and our faith in His faithfulness. Is He who He declares Himself to be? Is He as present with us and within us as Scripture promises? Is He working in us “both to will and to do of His good pleasure,” that is, His good pleasure of love? Is the love of God truly “shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us?” We know the answer to these questions. All that awaits is the determination to believe with our hearts that the love of God for us has become the love of God in us, and the love of God awaiting to lead, motivate, and enable us. To live is to love. To live is Christ. In this moment.
“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.”
(I John 4:9)