Loving God

Many people who don’t know the Bible think the chief end of man is “the pursuit of happiness.” But that is not quite what the Bible teaches.

In the Gospel of Mark, the disciples asked Jesus what was the Greatest Commandment. Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul, and with all your strength; and love your neighbor as yourself.” That, my friend, is “the chief end of man” according to Jesus Christ.

So how do we put that command into practice? The whole idea is that we need to build our love for people. That starts with loving God first. To love the Lord our God isn’t necessarily an emotion, though the emotion usually does follow.

To love the Lord means that we trust Him. We’re focused on Him. We’ve chosen to obey Him. We want His will in our lives. And He is the center of our lives. “We love Him because He first loved us” I John reminds us.

Once we truly start loving the Lord, He will put His love for people in our hearts too. Why don’t you ask the Lord to fill your heart with worship and adoration for Him? As we love the Savior more and more, we also will naturally love other people more and more and perhaps lead some of them to Jesus Christ. Wouldn’t that be the ultimate pleasure? You bet it would!

Christian Character

C.S. Lewis was one of the greatest authors of the 20th century. An atheist for many years, he set out to disprove the claims of Christianity. But as Lewis began his research, he discovered that following Jesus Christ actually is the most logical thing in the world. So he was converted.

C.S. Lewis wrote many, many books. But one of his phrases that I’ve always liked best is this: “Character is formed by our little, private choices.”

Isn’t that true? Secretly in your heart, day-by-day, you make little private choices. And those choices dictate whether you will influence people for God’s Kingdom, or draw them away from God. Lewis also wrote: “It is the accumulation of those little private choices that make you into a demonic, ugly, harsh person, or into a tender, kind, mature person.” Wow — that’s sobering!

By our daily choices we either grow into one type of person or the other. So how can we make sure we’re moving toward maturity, and making an eternal difference in people around us?

Our little private choices are molded by having been in the presence of God. As we spend time with God each day, — reading His word, listening to His spirit, talking with Him in prayer — we’ll become mature and loving Christians. Then God will use us to leave His fingerprint of love on the hearts of people we meet.

God’s Plan

The Christian life is simple, yet it is also very deep. The truth is very basic: Believe Jesus Christ. He died for your sins. He rose from the dead. He went to heaven. He’s coming back. He lives in you. Your sins are forgiven. You’re a child of God. You have eternal life! If you’ve committed your life to the Lord, then you understand the wonderful simplicity of the Good News message.

But the Good News is also much deeper and richer than the basics. There’s more to your faith than simply becoming a Christian and believing in God.

God has treasures for you — treasures that are enormous. These treasures come from living a life that is used by Him. Jesus Christ today isn’t visible to the naked eye. But He reveals Himself to the world through His Body, and His Body is you and me!

The Lord says to each of us, “Give me time and I’ll reveal my plan to you. Give me a chance and I’ll work through you and use you in tremendous ways. You are My body.”

God has much more planned for you than just enjoying His blessings and going to heaven. You are His hands and feet to the people in your world! In John 14 Jesus says, “I will do whatever you ask in my name.”

So ask God to reveal His plans for your life in helping fulfill the Great Commission. He’ll take you on an adventure you never dreamed possible! He really will!

A Clean Conscience

When my wife and I were missionaries in Ecuador in 1965, a woman called up and wanted meet with us. Her name was Lethia. She was the communist party secretary, and she was a wild woman! Right away she started insulting me, and saying all priests and preachers were hypocrites and thieves.

At first I was really tense. And then I prayed, “Lord, I don’t have all the answers. I only know the truth of the Bible. Please help me know how to show Your love to her.”

So I let her rant, and when she finished, I said, “Lethia, how can I help you?” Suddenly she broke down and started crying. “Nobody’s ever asked me how they can help me before,” she sobbed.

She confessed that she was eaten up by guilt from her lifestyle. When I told her about forgiveness and redemption through Jesus Christ, Lethia was converted on the spot!

Hebrews 9:14 says the blood of Christ will “cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death so that we may serve the living God.”

Do you know someone who is strongly opposed to the Gospel? Often it’s because they have a guilty conscience. Ask the Lord to open up an opportunity to give them the Good News, so they can be cleansed and forgiven.

The Love of God

A few years ago I was on a live radio talk show in England. I was discussing my book, God Is Relevant. They opened the phone lines for people to call in with their comments. One fellow called up and said, “I’m all for your arguments. I’m definitely for God and against atheism. But I haven’t always been that way.”

This man said that he used to be an atheist, and loved getting into arguments with Christians. He was pretty sharp, so he felt like he could knock down the Christian viewpoints pretty well. But one day a little old lady approached him. She said, “You can say all you like against God. But Jesus Christ loves you. He died for you on the cross. If you ever really want to meet Him, this is what you have to do.” And she explained the Good News message. He said, “That lady broke me down.” He became a Christian, simply because he heard that Jesus loved him.

The phrase “Jesus loves you,” is used so often that we can wrongly think it doesn’t make a difference. Yet there are people all around us who need to hear that they’re loved — no matter what they believe, or what they’ve done. Many times that simple, but powerful, declaration can change a heart. Who in your life needs to hear that the Savior loves them? Tell them today.