Life is a journey! So is it a road trip, a military march, or an explorer’s day out. What kind of journey is it? Where are we going? What are we supposed to do on the way?
Believers are on a journey where the ultimate destination is the Kingdom of Heaven and we expect to reach that destination upon death, or the return of Christ. (Phil 3:20-21) “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”
So if we know the destination, what is the purpose of the journey of life?
Phil 2:12 tells us to “continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”
In the next chapter 3:14, we are to “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Col 2:6 tells us that “now that you have received Christ as Lord, continue to live in Him.”
There is obviously an activity of working out our salvation, pressing on towards heaven in a race and continuing to live in Him, but what is the purpose for? The journey is all about building and growing relationship. Firstly a relationship with God, (an upward journey), then a relationship with self (an inward journey) and a relationship with others, (the outward journey).
Jesus describes these three journeys of the believer in Mark 12:29-31 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”
Progressing on all three these journeys is our journey, or way of love. Eph 5:1-2 tell us to be “imitators of God…and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us.”
In 1 Cor 12:31, Paul introduces “the most excellent way.” This verse falls just before 1 Cor 13 which describes this way of love. 1 Cor 14:1 then says: “Follow the way of love…”just described.
Our journey is all about developing love relationships with God, ourselves and others. Would you describe yourself as being a person who is falling more in love, acting in love, responding in love, towards God, yourself and others? Is 1 Cor 13 becoming more evident in your life?
The journey outwards and inwards looses direction when the upward journey is not undertaken. When the love relationship with God is neglected, an inward journey can become narcissistic of self orientated. While the outward journey becomes all about how one is perceived by others and the public image. Both of these have to start with the upward journey, for there is the source of love. “God is love.” (1 John 4:8).
In relationship with Jesus, our God, everything else begins. “For in Him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)
God wants us to feel and understand how deeply He loves us. In Eph 3:17-18 NLT (paraphrased) Paul writes of his desire for all believers, “I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts, living within you as you trust in Him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love, and may you be able to feel and understand, as all of God’s children should, how long, how wide, how deep, how high His love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves.”
God moved all heaven and earth, came down in the form of a human, limiting his power, so that He could pay the ultimate price for our sin. (Phil 2:6-11) Why? So that He can have a relationship with us! He asks: “Love me with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength.” (Mark 12:39)
Jesus lived the way of love and we are to remain in this way of love. John 15:9-10 “…remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in His love.” Jesus knew the way of love, lived the way of love and instructs us to live like He did.
Start the upward journey of love and all other journeys make sense.
Father thank you that my journey’s end is with You in Your Presence in Your eternal kingdom. Help me to focus my journey on developing a love relationship with You. I want to know your love more deeply, to experience it constantly. Help me to be so rooted in Your love that it affects every other area of my life, including the journey with myself, and others. Let the way of love, be the excellent way that I choose for my life.
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