Today, I was reading 1 Corinthians 13 & 14 during my personal devotion time and I was intrigued by how Eugene Peterson stated 1 Corinthians 14:1. It says, “Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it—because it does.” I was intrigued, in part, because I have felt for some time that most of the church has no idea what love really is. For a myriad of reasons, our ideas and beliefs about love have become so warped that most Christians miss out on love, even when it is right in front of them. And as a result, our efforts to love one another and love the lost have often fallen significantly short of true love.
I believe that Jesus always was going after a life of love. He was going after a life of love as he turned tables in the temple courts, as he challenged his disciples to come after him, as he stood up to the hypocrisy of the pharisees, as he multiplied the loaves for the crowds, as he then turned away the crowds that were only following after him for food, as he challenged the rich young ruler to give away his riches, as he rebuked the disciples for their many shortcomings and most definitely when he sacrificed his life for ours. As I read about Jesus’ life, I see him walk in a manner that many Christians today would not judge as “going after a life of love”. But that is only because we have lost sight of what love really is. I don’t pretend to be some expert on this; I am only noticing a gap, that seems to be getting bigger, between what Jesus called love and what we call love. I don’t know about you, but I want to love like Jesus loved. In part, because I believe that not only does our life depend on it, but the lives around us depend on it as well. Lest we forget that every day around us people die and go to hell because no one ever showed them the love of Jesus. Would you pray with me?
Lord Jesus, I would confess that I have often exchanged your ideas of love for my own. Help me to understand how you see love. Help me to love how you love. I invite you into obliterate my wrong notions on love and replace them with your own. I desperately want to “live a life of love”, but I am not quite sure that I even know what that means. Please Lord, teach me. I invite you in to do this thing in and through my life.