“But the others looked in the face of Aslan and loved him, though some of them were frightened at the same time. And all these came in at the Door, in on Aslan's right.”
C.S. Lewis; The Chronicles of Narnia: The Last Battle, p. 154
One of the undeniable truths of life is love has to be chosen. No one can make us love some one else. Force cannot inspire love in another person. Love only appears when a person chooses, by their own free will, to love someone else.
This is a key truth we need remember so we can make the most of the experiences of our lives. Trials and temptations provide us with an opportunity to choose God over everything else. Rick Warren in The Purpose Driven Life wrote:
On the path to spiritual maturity, even temptation becomes a stepping-stone rather than a stumbling block when you realize that it is just as much as occasion to do the right thing as it is to do the wrong thing. Temptation simply provides the choice. (p. 201)
As we continually choose God over and above the other things in our lives we are able grow our love for Him. If God never allowed temptation and hardship into our lives we would never have the opportunity to choose Him over the things of this world. God allows such things into our lives so we can have the opportunity to pursue a relationship with our Creator.
What God desires is a people who love Him more than anything in the world. We often think God's greatest desire for our lives is about following the right commandments and having the right beliefs. This doesn't prepare us for heaven. What makes us people fit for heaven is not obeying a bunch of rules here on earth, but loving God and loving people. It is our choice to love which gets us ready to spend an eternity with God.
The Apostle Paul wrote this in 1 Corinthians 13:
If I could speak in any language in heaven or on earth but didn't love others, I would only be making meaningless noise like a loud gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I knew all the mysteries of the future and knew everything about everything, but didn't love others, what good would I be? And if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, without love I would be no good to anybody. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it, but if I didn't love others, I would be of no value whatsoever (vv. 1-3; NLT).
One of the truths Paul conveys in this passage is that our lives, and even Christianity, find their value in our love. Of first importance is our love for God which flows into our love for others.
Ultimately what should set Christians apart from the world is our love for God. Putting God first in our lives and loving Him above all things will make us different from the world around us.
When we love God we will act differently. Jesus said, “If you love me, obey my commandments” (John 14:15; NLT). Our behavior and our obedience to Jesus is an indication of our love for Him. We cannot love the One who has given so much for us and continue to choose a life of sin.
Jesus also said; “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33; NASB). When we choose to love God our priorities change. What matters most is not our comfort or security, but God's Kingdom. Our focus switches from us to God.
We are made ready for heaven and an eternity with God when we choose to love. Choosing to love God over everything else prepares us for God's wonderful eternity. God wants us to be a people who have set Him as the King, Father, Lord, and Savior of their lives. God created us to choose Him over everything else. It is God's great desire to have a relationship with us, but we have to choose to be a part of it.
Questions to Consider:
- Why does love need to be chosen?
- How does choosing to love God prepare us for heaven?
- Why is love so powerful?