What Are We Living for?

You’ve heard it. You may have even said it yourself. “He lives for sports!” “I live to eat!” “They live for their children!”

Oh, yes. Whenever we pour our life energies into someone or something, we are definitely living for that pursuit.

And it isn’t only men who live for sports. Here in Wisconsin, women also spend every spare moment reading, thinking, and talking about the Packers. We deck ourselves out in green-and-gold and wouldn’t miss a game at Lambeau Field or on TV. We even show up at church on football Sundays in our Packer finery. Okay, I’ll admit it. I wear Packer earrings, jerseys, and socks on game days! I suspect it’s not much different for fans of other football franchises.

Oh, and how about those of us who love to eat? Love to collect and exchange recipes, try new foods, go on and on talking about our favorites foods and spreading the news about our favorite restaurants. We enjoy heaping our plates at the barbecues, banquets, and buffets. Wouldn’t miss a church potluck or family celebration. Oh, how we love our food!

And, let’s face it. We all know parents who pour the lives, time, and money into their children.

Is this bad? Not really.

Actually, it’s good to have a pursuit that captures our hearts and makes life worth living. Even Jesus cherished a pursuit that captured his heart and made his life on earth worth living. He poured himself into teaching, healing, and giving so that we each might know how much he loves us. He was so focused on gaining an intimate love relationship with us that he was willing to die to make it possible.

He knew that we could not have a love relationship with our holy God until someone paid the price for our sins. He volunteered, and it cost his death on the cross. The ultimate act of his love.

Since his resurrection three days later, Jesus has remained focused on his pursuit. He waits eagerly for us to respond–to be so captivated by his unconditional love that we joyfully pour our lives into learning to know and love him more each day.

Focus: “He indeed died for all, so that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who died for their sake and was raised” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:15, New American Bible.

How about you? Who or what do you live for? Have you already responded to the Lord’s love?

 

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As Exciting as a Packer Game!

Along with hundreds of others, My husband and I drove to Green Bay. When we arrived and had to park more than a mile from Lambeau Field, we didn’t complain. Surging forward with the crowd, we hurried on in eager anticipation.

Inside the fast-filling stadium, we found our seats and settled in to enjoy the next few hours. We cheered as the team took the field. We chatted with the fans around us about the plays and speculated on the season’s possibilities. Did it matter that we were mostly strangers to one another? Not at all. We were united by the one thing we had in common–our love for football and the Green Bay Packers.

Interesting how I find a similar joyous unity among my brothers and sisters in Christ. All week long I eagerly look forward to Sunday morning when we gather at church with those of “like precious faith” (1 Peter 1:1, King James Version). Oh, it may not sound like much, but it’s as exciting as going to a Packer game!

I may not know everyone who comes, but we are united by the one thing we have in common–our love for God and his family of believers. Together we sing his praises and eagerly listen to what he will say  to us through that morning’s sermon. We share what the Lord has done in our lives during the past week and cheer one another on. We pray for each other’s needs and help one another.

Yes, I am constantly  thankful for the loving help and faithful encouragement I receive from my friends in Christ–not only those in the church where I serve but also those serving God and one another in other Christian denominations. And I’ve heard other believers in Jesus share the same sentiment. Yes, we are thankful.

Focus: “We always thank God for all of you …” ~ 1 Thessalonians 1:2, (New Living Translation).

How about you? For what are you especially thankful when you gather with other believers to worship God?