A man once came into my office and said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m a Christian, but I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t feel like IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m going anywhere in my spiritual growth. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m kind of stuck in neutral.Ã¢â‚¬Â
I said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“What do you think the problem is?Ã¢â‚¬Â
He said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think my problem is I just donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t love God enough.Ã¢â‚¬Â
I said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not your problem. Your problem is not that you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t love God enough. Your problem is that you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t understand how much God loves you.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Love is always a response to love. The Bible says,Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“We love because he first loved usÃ¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â (1 John 4:19 NIV). When you say, Ã¢â‚¬Å“I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t love God,Ã¢â‚¬Â itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s because you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t understand just how much he really loves you.
To understand your lifeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s purpose and calling, you have to begin with GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s nature. God is love. Love is the essence of his nature. The only reason there is love in the universe is because of God. Ants and snails do not love, but you were made in GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s image, so you can love.
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, obey, and trust him, but your greatest purpose is to love him.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasureÃ¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â (Ephesians 1:4-5 NLT).
Let this sink in: Your first purpose is not toÃ‚Â do anythingÃ‚Â but to justÃ‚Â be lovedÃ‚Â by God.