November 13, 2007 - Love As Long As Life Lasts


Love As Long As Life Lasts
By Jon Walker

“We are anxious that you keep right on loving others as long as life lasts, so that you will get your full reward” (Hebrews 6:11 LB).

Today’s devotional is based on lessons from Rick Warren, senior pastor of Saddleback Church and author of “The Purpose Driven Life.” –jw

God designed life for us to learn how to love one another like God loves us. For the moment, we are in the midst of some rather serious on-the-job-training. God is making use of all things — pain and suffering, joy and comfort, opposition and cooperation — to transform us into people who love fully and deeply.

We’re to spend our lives learning to love one another because God wants us to be like he is, and God is love: “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:8 NIV). God designed this life to sever our ties to self-centeredness so he can teach us to be other-centered — putting the needs of others over our own.

This love we are learning will never die: “Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit” (1 Corinthians 13:8 MSG). The love we learn now will last forever. This life is practice for an eternity of love. It’s like spring training in the game of baseball: We’re practicing our love for one another now, strengthening our skills, preparing for the World Series of Love in heaven.

This is God’s purpose: “When the time is ripe he will gather us all together from wherever we are — in heaven or on earth — to be with him in Christ forever” (Ephesians 1:10 LB). No doubt, we will be surprised in heaven by how our love has flowed into eternity (Ephesians 4:4).

What now?

· Love urgently – “And we are anxious that you keep right on loving others as long as life lasts” (Hebrews6:11 LB). There is urgency in learning to love now because today could be our last day on earth. This life is fleeting, and eternity is coming. The opportunities for us to express love come and go quickly; we cannot take them for granted. One day our earth-bound lessons will end, and we’ll love for eternity in heaven.

· Love consistently – As long as we’re living, we’re to “keep right on loving.” This curriculum of love is not something we learn once and then put behind us. We have to study it for a lifetime, until we “know it so well, we’ve embraced itheart and soul.” We’re to “take up permanent residence” in this life of love, where we “live in God and God lives in us” (1 John 4:16, MSG).

· Love expectantly – We’re to keep loving so we will get our “full reward” (Hebrews 6:11 LB). We will find our greatest reward in those we love.

© 2007 Jon Walker. All rights reserved.