Hello Beloved Friends!
I dearly hope that all of you are doing very well—because truly, I want nothing less than to know that all of you are living wonderful lives that are brimful with the purpose, beauty, and joy that come from living life in and with Jesus Christ our Lord.
Okay so… bear with me, because recently, I’ve been thinking about the purpose of life. And—HaHA!—luckily for me, these thoughts just happen to fit right in with the “fashion theme” of JoyfullyYou! It’s perfect! I get to write about the things that I’ve been thinking about, and I don’t have to try to drum up any new “fashion-related” ideas! 😀
Now, you may be wondering, ‘just how exactly are fashion and life’s purpose connected?’ The reason is simple enough. It’s because the purpose of our life is connected to everything that we do, and that includes what clothes we choose to wear.
What is our purpose in life? I imagine that everyone has a slightly different way of thinking about their life’s purpose. As Christians, our ultimate goal should be to live eternally with God in heaven. But even with this significant commonality between Christians, I think that all of us still think of our journey to heaven along slightly different lines. Some Christians think of their goal as “finishing the race” (Acts 20:24); some think of it as “following God’s example” (Ephesians 5:1); still others think of it as “believing in Jesus Christ” (Acts 16:30-31). All of these are great ways of thinking of our goal as Christians; but for me, they don’t quite seem to cut to the heart of the issue…
What should someone do in order to finish the race? What does it mean to follow God’s example? How should believing in Jesus Christ manifest itself in a person’s life? I have found that the answer to all of these questions is LOVE, and not just any old love. I’m talking about agape love (some people prefer to call it “charity”). This is the kind of love that the Apostle John is referring to when he says “God is love” in 1 John 4:8. This unfathomably special love, which is truly the Spirit of God alive in one’s heart, is the fundamental nature of finishing the race, following God’s example, and even believing in Jesus Christ! It is the “greatest commandment” and the “fulfillment of the law.” Love is the all-important, God-given vocation of every life; it gives joy and purpose to both our human and heavenly existence! …How amazing is that?
“The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” 1 Timothy 1:5
“My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ…” Colossians 2:2
What exactly does it mean to love? We learn the meaning of love by coming to know Love Himself, God made man in the person of Jesus Christ. The most perfect image of love is Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. Oh, friends… what an incredibly, indescribably wonderful exemplification of love! What a perfectly willing and total gift of Himself Jesus gave for the sake of His beloved ones! He literally poured out himself (His life’s blood!) for love of YOU! THAT kind of sacrifice is the true meaning of love: a free and total gift of oneself, of every single faculty, to God for the purpose of accomplishing His perfect will.
Perfect love gives and shares love without counting the cost. Love is motivated by a desire to do what is best for the beloved. And just wow… THAT is our heavenly goal—perfect love, the manifestation of our perfect union with our God who IS love! Okay… the reality of God’s love is literally THE most beautiful and profound truth in the entire universe, and we get to be a part of that love because living IN and WITH and THROUGH and FOR and BY God’s love is the entire purpose of our existence!!
If loving people is so tremendously important, if it is truly the purpose for which God placed us on this earth, and if it is the path that Jesus laid out for us to follow, why is it so easy to lose sight of the narrow path in front of us by allowing our thoughts and actions to be motivated by something other than love? Take a moment to think about why—the real reason why—we do what we do. So many little things divert our eyes from the goal—the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Maybe next time I blog I’ll write about distractions and why it is so important to battle against that persistent little voice that always seems to whisper ‘what will people think of you?’ …Why is it that this voice always seems most distracting when I am trying my hardest to focus on CHRIST and loving Him without any thought of selfish gain?
Ah! There are still so many things to ponder. And for that reason, I’ll probably be thinking about something totally different by the time I sit down to write my next blog post. Well, we’ll just have to see what happens, won’t we? 🙂
In the meantime, don’t forget about the beauty of radically living out our God-given purpose by living a life of loving sacrifice! These two things, love and sacrifice, are inextricably entwined. And the fact that Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday fell on the same day this year is such an incredible reminder of that special connection!
Well… God bless, friends! Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings!
Love Forever & Always in Christ,
P.S. The girl in the pictures is my lovely sister Leandra – so beautiful, inside and and out! And yes, maybe I should spend a little bit less time pondering and more time cleaning the windows! That window pane is quite filthy! 🙂