As intriguing and important as the entire Bible is (except for the book of Numbers of course), I tend to consistently hit the repeat button when it comes to the Gospels. Sure, I’ll study through Daniel or Revelation, but I’m always doing so in tandem with MMLJ. There’s something fulfilling about walking the back streets of Jerusalem with Jesus that I just can’t quite put my finger on. My soul is always refreshed every time I read over the story of Lazarus. I get chills every time I meet the Son of Man walking, in the middle of the night, across the sea. And I get giddy with excitement when I read about Jesus slapping the Pharisees in the face with His words.
But the most exciting part about reading the Gospels is growing deeper in my understanding of Jesus through His experience on Earth. And out of my times in the Gospels over the past couple of years, I’ve come to realize, at least, three things that He desires from us. These three things have become sort of my life’s mission.
1. The first thing is LOVE. And as hippy-like as it sounds, Jesus is all about love. Everything He does is out of love. More specifically, everything He does is out of love for God’s most valued creation. US. And Jesus calls us to, not only reciprocate that love for God, but He desires that we show that same love to others. I’ve fallen more madly in love with God over that past couple of years and I’ve noticed that my love for others has increased tremendously as well. It’s no wonder that Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God and to love others. The two go hand in hand.
2. Jesus also desires that we become life long LEARNERS of God. That’s what relationship with God is all about. As we grow in our relationship with God through Jesus, we learn more about Him. We shouldn’t stop learning or understanding the things of God. In the same way I will continually learn new things about my wife, there are infinite avenues of newness that’ll lead us to a deeper understanding of our Creator. In the same breath, it’s also important to be learners of people. Understanding others is huge. When we understand a person more, it becomes easier to love them. When we learn the nuances of others, especially those of different cultures than us, it becomes easier to drop our guards, we stereotype less, and it’s easier to embrace the whole of humanity.
3. And finally Jesus desires that we truly LIVE out the things we’re learning about Him and about others. It’s one thing to increase our knowledge about Jesus and about others, but if we don’t do anything with what we’ve learned, then our learning is mere information. We can know that Jesus desires that we love and care for those who don’t have much, but if we continually turn our backs on the forgotten and on the poor, then what good is that? When we live out the things of Jesus in the midst of living out our lives in the communities we dwell in, we get a glimpse of what heaven’s like.
How about you? What are words you’ve lived by and why?