As we get bogged down by the hustle and bustle of this life, what is the point? We get out of bed each morning to the same job that we might like, but we certainly don’t love. We interact with the same people that aren’t nearly as nice to us as they should be. Things don’t seem to get any better like we hoped they would be. If anything, things are getting worse around us and worse within us as we struggle with pain, sickness and sadness.
So we go to church, but what is that all about? Jesus died for me and that’s great, but it hasn’t paid down my student loans or credit card debt! God may have created the world, but my world seems to be crashing down around me and He doesn’t seem to be doing anything about it!
So, what is the point?
Here is the answer. Jesus sets the table for us here in the gospel of John giving us the focus of our faith and the meaning of our life.
“For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.” (Romans 16:19-20)
When a little child is disciplined for playing in the road or walking on railroad tracks, they see the discipline as painful, unnecessary, and limiting. They don’t want limitations. However, if they could understand the danger and the parent’s desire to protect them, they would see that discipline as loving. A parent calls on a child to obey because obedience protects and blesses that child.
“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 2:6-7)
Likewise, when God asks us to obey, let’s not see it as something onerous, burdensome, and limiting. Instead, let’s see Jesus’ command, and our obedience to that command, as the protection of a loving Savior trying to safeguard, bless, and care for His younger beloved brothers and sisters. When we obey Jesus, we remain under the protection of His love rather than the danger of our rebellion!
“who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,” (Hebrews 5:7-9)
God’s love for us drives our life, giving us both purpose for our life and a guide for how we are to live. Since God loved us we seek to mirror that love through obedience to God and selflessness to our neighbors. That love drives our desire to share God’s love with those who do not know it and to proclaim it through word and song in worship.
Today, when you come into contact with people, take a moment before you respond and think to yourself. “How would Jesus respond in this situation?” Then respond to that person in love. No matter if that person showed us love or not. God’s love is the point and purpose of this life and He inspires us to love one another.