An excerpt from Live to Love: Experience Freedom and Joy in Relationships
by Norm Wakefield
So far this year, if you’ve kept up with the Live to Love blog, you’ve considered five reasons to rethink what you live for and dive into the live to love with Jesus adventure. We should live to love with Jesus because: God is love, Jesus commanded it, it’s the proof that we know Him, it is our confidence in the judgment, and it is the greatest unifier in the body of Christ. All of these reasons are positive and encouraging. But what if we don’t live to love with Jesus? Is loving with Him really that central to our walk in this world?
Wouldn’t it be devastating for a person to waste his or her entire life?! It would be like someone expending great energy to climb a ladder, only to find when they got to the top that it was up against the wrong wall. Or like a person who saves all his extra money for his retirement years, and then God takes him in his mid-fifties. What do you think or feel when you spend hours working on a project and it ends in failure? Or you purchase a piece of furniture and discover when you bring it home that it doesn’t really fit in the spot you hoped it would fill? Or you sacrificed a day of work to do something with the family and it turned out to be a day of conflict and disappointment? What a waste! Isn’t that what you would feel?
How much more disappointing do you think it will be for you to come to the end of your life and realize that most, if not all of your life, was a waste? The sixth reason I suggest that you should make loving with Jesus the reason for your life is based on 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:3.
But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way. If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
Reason #6: If you don’t live to love, you waste your life.
Paul’s beautiful and strong teaching about love in 1 Corinthians 13 is a little different from the examples I mentioned above, but the meaning is the same. Usually this passage is read during a wedding, however, that wasn’t what Paul had in mind. He had an “excellent way” that he wanted the Corinthians to think about as they exercised their spiritual gifts. A person might be an eloquent speaker (gift of tongues, teaching, exhortation), but if his speaking isn’t in love, it is worse than a waste, it’s annoying. One who doesn’t have faith working through love, even if he performs miracles (gifts of faith, healing, prophecy, and knowledge), is nothing. Without the love of Jesus flowing through our lives, sacrificial service (gift of service) and giving yield no profit! If we don’t live to love, we waste our lives. This is a tragic prospect! Again, when we consider our standing appointment with Jesus, such a potential loss should motivate each of us to ask ourselves, “Am I wasting my life? What am I living for?”
Imagine waking up each day and intentionally and passionately seeking to know God and to be His agent in this world to love those He puts in your path. What an adventure! If that’s a new imagination, then why not pause right now and ask God to meet with you and help you make the most of your life? Beginning each day with the live to love prayer can remind you to live that day in an “excellent way”—the way of love—for the glory of God. I encourage you to take the 60 day prayer challenge at www.livetolovewithjesus.com. Here’s the prayer.
Father, thank You for another day of life to live to know and love You and love with Jesus. Anoint and fill me with the Holy Spirit, the presence and power of Christ, so that I can love and trust You and love those You put in my path today, for Your glory.
I hope you’ll consider diving more deeply into Jesus by reading Live to Love: Experience Freedom and Joy in Relationships. This resource is available for free in print as well as in ebook and audio book formats at www.livetolovewithjesus.com. Intentionally living to love with Jesus will give you confidence when you come to stand before Jesus to give an account of your life. You won’t be afraid to discover that you have wasted the days God gave you on this earth.
Live to Love Adventure Discipleship Groups
Would you like to participate in a Live to Love Adventure with other believers? If you would like to read Live to Love and be encouraged by other believers as you read, you may let us know by emailing Norm at email@example.com. The Live to Love Adventure is a one hour a week, 16 week, zoom experience with 5-8 others who have a desire to grow in their love and devotion for Christ and love for others.
Live to Love Adventure Conference
It seems that most churches have returned to some semblance of normalcy, and I’m hoping to begin scheduling Live to Love Adventure weekend conferences in churches. Imagine the impact of the work of the Holy Spirit as He calls, inspires, and equips the body of Christ to live to love with Him. The series entails 10 sessions (12-25 minutes) each followed by small group discussion and application. Beginning on Friday evening, the series can be concluded by Saturday early afternoon. The primary goal of the series is to lead the body of Christ into greater intimacy with Jesus as their Lord and lead disciple-maker resulting in them entering into Jesus’ call to go and make disciples. Please pray about how God might use you to facilitate a Live to Love Adventure conference in your church. Videos of the sessions are available for free on the livetolovewithjesus.com website. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.