Friday, December 27, 2013

"A Life That Matters" Part 2

     Frances and I recently watched a documentary about a late entertainer who tickled the ribs of millions, while becoming extremely wealthy, powerful, and influential.  He pretty much died as a hermit on his yacht, however, reflecting a lifetime in which he never learned to relate to people on a personal level.  He frequently admitted as much, stating that he loved the stage because he could be to crowds that which he could not be to individuals.

    The man's relational issues originated in his admitted disbelief in a personal God.  Failure to relate to our Maker always results in the inward insecurities and/or pride that erects walls between ourselves and other human beings.  "This commandment have we from Him, That he who loveth God love his brother also" (I John 4:21).  Love for God and love for people are branches of the same blessed Tree, namely, the cross of Calvary.  The Lord Jesus Christ died thereupon to establish terms of loving peace between God and ourselves, which leads to the fruit of loving peace between people and ourselves (that is, to those who respond to the Divine/human overtures of love manifested through Christ-inhabited believers).  He subsequently rose from the dead in order to return to Heaven for the purpose of sending the Holy Spirit to indwell our hearts.  Thereby, we increasingly discover the love of God for us, and respond in kind. "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).   This changes us into the image of Christ, and thus into lovers of people as the direct expression of our love for God.

    Just as Adam and Eve hid from God in the trees after their sin, and from each other by the leaves of a tree, the aforementioned entertainer hid from people throughout much of his lifetime as the direct expression of hiding from God (Genesis 3:7-8).  Tragic was the result in both this life and the next for a man still revered by many who fail to see the sadness of a lost lifetime and eternity.  He did not live a life that matters.  Indeed, his failure to know and love God and people means that he never truly lived at all.  Stark and direct is the message to our hearts communicated by the tragedy.  "To live is Christ" declared the Apostle Paul" (Philippians 1:21).   To love our Heavenly Father and people as did our Lord, as enabled by the presence of His indwelling Spirit, means that we are are truly alive and living in a manner that matters (Philippians 1:21).  Nothing else qualifies, and we require nothing else.  Yes, to be loved by God and to know it, and to love Him in response and to show it (by loving people), this is life, and there is no other.

"This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent."
(John 17:3)
" If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit."
(I John 4:12-13)

Weekly Memory Verse   
    Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which, being interpreted, is God with us."
(Matthew 1:23)

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