A heard a story once, a long time ago. I’m sure some of us have heard this stroy and even more have probably lived it. A while back, a man told his minister, “I’m a Christian, but I don’t feel like I’m going anywhere in my spiritual growth. I am religious, I pray, and I love God but I feel stuck in neutral.”
The minister said, “What do you think the problem is?”
He said, “I think my problem is I just don’t love God enough.”
The minister, “That’s not your problem. Your problem is not that you don’t love God enough. Your problem is that you don’t understand how much he loves you.”
Love is always a response to love. The Bible says, “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19 NIV). When you say, “I don’t love God,” it’s because you don’t understand just how much He really loves you.
To understand your life’s purpose and calling, you have to begin with God’s nature. Love is the essence of His nature. The only reason there is love in the universe is because of God. We were made into His image, to be filled with love and righteousness.
Many of us get lost. We end up in a mysterious place and wonder how we got there. Where is God? Why can’t I get the life I wanted? How can I serve Him? Let this sink in: Your first duty is not to do anything but just be loved by God. The reason you are alive is because God wanted to love you. The first purpose of your life is to be loved by God! Yes, it is important to serve Him, obey, and trust Him, but your first purpose is to love Him.
We are to let God love us first and we are to love Him back. We are also to have faith at all times, especially during the uncertain times. Faith is the greatest expression of love we can show Him and tell others of our love for Him.
Often, we believe that the greatest miracle occurs when Jesus saves those who have little — whether little status, money or health. We love dramatic testimonies that begin in poverty and end in prosperity. Just as much of a miracle occurs when a person who is great by the world’s standards sees his poverty and, in light of God’s greatness, recognizes his need for Jesus. Being humble is another form of love. Humble for what we have, where we are going, and the authority God has over our lives.
Pride and wealth sometimes hinder our humble nature. However, despite our convictions or judgments there are people of wealth, pride, and authority who are humble and recognize God’s authority. A centurion was a career military officer in the Roman army. This man would have been the boss of more than 100 soldiers. He had money, power and influence.
The centurion was a caring man, as evidenced by his concern about his servant’s suffering. The centurion could not control this illness. Despite being a powerful man himself, the centurion was able to see the power that Jesus had. Jesus had authority over all things, including illness. Because the centurion understood Jesus’s authority and acted upon this belief, the servant was healed.
1) What part of your life feels out of your control right now?
2) Do you believe Jesus has authority over all things and you don’t? How do your actions reflect that belief?
3) Do you have trouble asking for help? Is pride stopping you from coming to Jesus for help with any area of your life? Why or why not?
The centurion had the ability to see what so many others could not: Jesus was not just another teacher. Can you recognize that Jesus is more?