A Life of Love

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-legend/penn-commencement-speech-2014_b_5358334.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063

John Legend speaks about true love in this commencement speech. He says (and I agree), that it’s the most valuable thing, what makes life worth living for. But what is true love? How do we know it? Perfect, true love, is found only from our Lord, Jesus Christ, and his sacrifice for us. That is true love. 

“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you, he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” – Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV) 

This has always been one of my favorite verses, as it is so encouraging to me to live the life I have been called to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ. To live exactly as I feel called, not making choices out of security or fear, knowing that if you set your eyes on God, everything else will fall into place. Recently, I’ve been wrestling with the thought that I do not need to earn God’s grace, vs. the idea of being charged to do God’s work. How do these two essential Christian belief’s work together?

After thought, discussion, and prayer, this is what I’ve decided, and how I want to live: always acting in the belief that people matter. Acting in love. I just finished reading The Fault in Our Stars, and one of the protagonists, Augustus Waters, has this constant fear of oblivion. Of living a life no one will remember; of not getting the chance to perform good works and leave a mark for better on this world (which makes me incredibly thankful for the chances I’ve had and do have). The other protagonist, Hazel Lancaster, is constantly trying to understand why the fact that Augustus has impacted her, has positively changed her life, is not enough. I think there is truth in both their thoughts. I relate to the idealistic, adventurous, desire-to-serve side of Augustus Waters, who dreams of leaving an impact and being remembered and somehow saving the world. But I also relate to the views of Hazel, who stresses to Augustus that there is value in having touched even just one life: “to love deeply, if not widely.” How amazing is it that the Lord loves us both deeply as individuals, and widely, as the whole world’s only source of salvation.

Lord, give me your eyes to see the need, your will to serve and do, your hands and words to accomplish, and your abundant love and grace to spread.

So, to think again of the Deuteronomy verse, what are your favorite things to do? What are your true priorities? Focus on these things, as the Lord gave you these passions for a reason. Be COMPASSIONATE with all people, surround yourself with people and movements that excite you to get involved and help in some way, and serve as the “body of Christ,” that the church is charged with being. We are His hands, feet, arms, eyes, mouth, and whatever else he chooses to accomplish His purposes through us. As they say, “The only good works that will get accomplished are those we are willing to do.” Make the most of this life and these opportunities you are given, and not as a way of earning God’s grace. But because through Christ, you have a giant heart for others, that you cannot bear to not share with the world. Be selfless; be a blessing to others – someone that brings life to others. Love with your strengths to lift people up, not demand from them. Generate excitement, adventure, and genuine care. Be a thermostat that’s blasting energy! 

Lord, I pray for inner strength and peace that represents You well in every situation and circumstance I am in. Through Christ’s love for me, and that alone, I have a rock solid sense of security, and know that I can do whatever I am called to do in this life. I pray to live on the resurrection side of the cross, meaning that because we believe Jesus died for our sins and is our living savior, we can love God, ourselves, and others in unselfish ways, overcoming every challenge presented to us. Even in the midst of great difficulty, I love my Lord my God, and I know that he loves me. I trust You to work all things out for my good and refuse to worry, be anxious, or fearful, as I place my trust in the Lord. I pray you use me to touch the lives of my friends eagerly trying and willing to pursue your plans. Amen!!

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