Saturday, October 24, 2009

Our Purpose in Life: Love

What are we called to in life? What is the purpose of our existence?

Well, Jesus answers this. Here is the conversation-

We are called to-

Matthew 22:37 And He said to him, "'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.'On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."

Here Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6, known as the Jewish Shemah and Leviticus 19:18
NAU Deuteronomy 6:5 "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

NAU Leviticus 19:18 'You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.

So what does this love look like?
1. Hebrew word for love- aheb, "to love".
2. Greek word for love- agapao, "love".
Definition of the Greek word, meaning of the Hebrew- Friberg lexicon defines it as "Love, especially of love as based on evaluation and choice, a matter of will and action."

The best example is found in two passages- John 21:15-18; Joshua 24:15

CJB John 21:15 After breakfast, Yeshua said to Shim'on Kefa, "Shim'on Bar-Yochanan, do you love me more than these?" He replied, "Yes, Lord, you know I'm your friend." He said to him, "Feed my lambs." 16 A second time he said to him, "Shim'on Bar-Yochanan, do you love me?" He replied, "Yes, Lord, you know I'm your friend." He said to him, "Shepherd my sheep." 17 The third time he said to him, "Shim'on Bar-Yochanan, are you my friend?" Shim'on was hurt that he questioned him a third time: "Are you my friend?" So he replied, "Lord, you know everything! You know I'm your friend!" Yeshua said to him, "Feed my sheep! 18 Yes, indeed! I tell you, when you were younger, you put on your clothes and went where you wanted. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go."

ESV Joshua 24:15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

Love for God is seen as an aheb and agapao type of love. It is a choice a decision to be devoted and loyal to God. That is the essence of what we are called to.
So, as Joshua challenged the Jewish people, we are left with the same challenge. To make a choice. To follow God (the Lord Jesus) to do our own thing, or to follow some other god (ie- Allah, Brahma, Buddha, Krishna, Shiva, Al-ilah, etc.). What is your choice?

3. This doesn't rule out the type of love that Peter expressed for Jesus. Phileo- which is a brotherly (Philadelphia), affectionate type of love. God wants our affection, but what He is primarily after is our agapao-type love.

Furthermore, in Deuteronomy 6, we are to love (aheb) God with all of our heart (inners), self (will, emotion, passion), and might (abilities). We are to be undivided.

A. I love God with all of my ability + passion - heart (unwilling to obey Him with my motives, ie- some televangelists who serve God to get rich)
B. I love God with all of my heart + passion - ability (unwilling to serve Him, ie pew potatoes or those who don't join the cause of Christ)
C. I love God with all of my heart + ability - passion (emotion, affection. I don't like God. ) (ie this person serves God, not willingly but because they are only SUPPOSE to and are under compulsion. God doesn't want a bitter person or a robot. He also desires our affection).

Thought question: So what is the choice that I have to make? How do I choose God? How can I have peace & be reconciled to my Creator? What must I do to be saved?

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