Daily Archives: May 10, 2012

Gospel Enjoyment: You Live for what you Love

How do you order your life? How do you spend your time, money, and emotions? You only live for what you love. Some of us may not think this is true, we could look at our jobs and describe our frustrations, but there are reasons you stay at your job. It could be to support the people you love, the love of responsibility, or the love of being known as reliable.

Even though there are things that we obligated to give our time to, our emotions and thoughts are always spent on what we love. I’m a huge sports fan and it doesn’t matter if it’s basketball, football, baseball, hockey or miniature golf, I’m in. I’ll glad spend me thoughts, emotions, money, and time thinking about, reading about, figuring out a way to play or watch sports.

I’ve seen this be true for people who love music, fine arts, faith, social justice, or comfort. We only live for what we love leaving us the important realization that we must be careful what we love. Do we truly love what is most lovely or do we settle for things less lovely?

Whatever we love, we give our money, our time, and emotions and end up finding new ways and new time to enjoy it with our lives.

You Spend Your Money on what you Love

This is the challenge Jesus gives in the sermon on the mount in Matthew 6.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

In the midst of Jesus’ sermon which raises the bar on understanding who God is and what He desires for people, he points to this truth that we spend on ourselves on what we love and our money usually shows us what that is. Your bank statements and your possessions can easily display what you love. This isn’t always a bad thing, but it is revealing.

If we treasure God and the heavenly things, our view of money shifts and the way we spend it shifts as well. Money becomes a tool to build God’s kingdom rather than a master we are always seeking to serve. Money as master or the object of affection betrays us as it leads us to sacrifice just about anything (family, friends, ethics) to attain more and there’s always more. Loving something beyond money sees money as a tool for living for what we love most. For the Christian, money is a tool to spent on the things God cares about.

You Spend Your Time on what you Love

Whether we give to much time to work because we love success or we give our time to our favorite televisions shows because we love to laugh and be entertained, our time is spent on what we love.

We will arrange our schedules around what we love most. I see this in my own life all the time. During college football season, I try to get everything done and spend time with people around the games that I want to watch. As I seek to express my love for my wife and my children, it can easily be seen by how I spend time with and for them. My wife knows that I love her, but scheduling consistent date nights speaks greater volumes than mere words. My time is reflecting my verbal commitment of love.

The same is true of Christianity. We can say we love Jesus all we want, but if our time is spent on everything but Him, our time reveals our true love.

You Spend your Emotions & Thoughts on what you Love

Sometimes I wish I could have some of my emotions back, especially when it comes to sports. I seem to choose teams that are underdogs and are so for a reason. They always lose, but I still get emotionally invested into games. There have been times when it affects my mood or an upcoming big game causes me to think a little too much about how well my team will perform.

I know I’ve used a lot of sports references, but I know the same is true for many women when it comes to decorating or fashion. They give a lot of time to searching catalogs, discussing trends, colors, etc. in search of a satisfying outfit or room décor. It’s the natural outflow of loving something, that our thoughts and emotions would become tied up with the thing we love.

This is why the scriptures emphasize our minds being renewed by the Word of God (the Bible) in Romans 12, that we are to set our minds on Christ (Colossians 3), that we need to think on what is honorable, true, pure, and lovely (Philippians 4). If the Christian life is loving God most, our emotions and our thoughts get tied up with God and His initiatives.

Jesus Lived for what He Loved

One of the great things about the incarnation of Jesus, when He lived as a human, is we were able to see what Jesus loved by how He spent His money, time, emotions and thoughts.

In 2 Corinthians 8:9, the scriptures say “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” He laid aside the riches of heaven to put on flesh because of His love for the Father and for us, so that we could become heirs with Him through faith.

Jesus said He only spent His time and did what He saw His Father doing (John 5:19). He spent time away from others in prayer with the Father, He spent time with the hurting, the poor, and the needy instead of the well-known, the rich, and the righteous displaying the Father’s heart for the poor and the marginalized.

Jesus had compassion on the crowds of people (Matthew 9:35-36), He wept when He saw Jerusalem knowing He would give His life for those He loved.

If we as Christians ever wonder what it would look like to love God and let our lives reflect what we love, Jesus has displayed for us fully through His life how to live for what is most lovely.

It’s an interesting thing to that we live for what we love and when we spend our money, time, emotions and thoughts on what we love, we end up loving it more. It’s as if we step into a cycle of love leading to actions and actions feeding the love. This makes it that much more important that we assess what we love and make sure it is what is most lovely, Jesus.

Next blog I’ll continue this thought by focusing how gospel enjoyment highlights that we also die for what we love.

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