But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. – 2 Peter 1:5-7
If you love God, like really love God, then you have arrived at the pinnacle of Christianity. The greatest miracle that God accomplishes in a God-hating, sin-loving person’s heart is transform it into a heart that desires Him and His ways. I must confess, in the beginning years of being a Christian, it didn’t seem possible. However, with God, all things are possible. If you continue to pursue Him on the journey from faith to love, He will reveal Himself to you and you will fall in love with Him.
Someone asked me the other day, “Why did God create us just to watch us die?” I said, “Who did God actually create with His own hands and His own breath?” They said, “Adam and Eve.” I said, “You are correct.” We then discussed how there was never an intention for us to die. We discussed how pure love does not exist without the choice to love. Adam and Eve made the choice to try life apart from God. They divorced Him so to speak. What was on the price tag of this choice?
Yet God, in His infinite Wisdom, and out of His infinite love, made a way for death to be reversed. Jesus Christ came down from Heaven and lived the only sinless life that has ever been lived. Then, He willingly gave Himself as the ultimate sacrifice for sinners. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
Oh, if we could only grab a hold of that truth. Entitled Americans look at it as something else that was done for them for absolutely nothing. “I said the sinners prayer and I believe this, therefore I’m going to Heaven when I die.” That person has one more question to answer: “Now that you know He loves you, do you love Him back?” The truth is, God does want something in return, and it isn’t a ton of religious activity that you really don’t enjoy. It is the restored relationship with man that He had at one time in the Garden of Eden. If you really think about it, the fact that this is even possible is absolutely amazing.
You have to be brutally honest in assessing your love for Him. I said that I loved Him for years, but then turned around and played golf, watched television, and played on the Internet probably 100 times more than I actually spent pursuing Him and learning His ways. When I was a teenager, I remember getting saved and then around the same time getting a girlfriend. Church and God took quite the backseat, though I never would have admitted it. The right answer was still to say that I loved God more than anything else. But, He knew, and deep down, I knew.
Years later, I do remember pursuing Him really hard for a season of my life. I was at the adding knowledge to what little virtue I had stage. Out of nowhere, in the middle of a ride to work, He just showed up. His Presence filled my little Ford Ranger. I was simultaneously filled with pure joy and at the same time had this awareness of my sin like I could not believe. My immediate response was to say, “Turn that off, Lord, I can’t take it.” He turned it off.
That moment changed my life. He had made Himself known to me . . . like really known. He revealed to me that as I grew in Him, I would be able to withstand higher and higher degrees of His Presence.
He was right.
I hope in reading about the journey from faith to love that you have found where you are in your walk with Him. More than anything, I hope you are pursuing Him like never before. In pursuing Him, you find Him. In finding Him, you fall in love with Him.
I didn’t realize that I’d end this little series on the Wednesday before Christmas. The truth still remains that He is the greatest gift that this life offers. He is the gift that keeps on giving.