While doing my devotional reading this morning, I came across the following. Although it deals with a theme we – in all likelihood – are quite familiar with, the way it was written caused me to read it again, and again, and again a third time and to “muse” for a while. It is with that intent that I share it with you. Read on ~
“The great business of the true Christian life is to learn love. We are not here in this world to get rich, to gain power, to become learned in the arts and sciences, to build up a great business, or to do large things in any line. We are not here to get along in our daily work, in our shops, or schools, or homes, or on our farms. We are not even here to preach the gospel, to comfort sorrow, to visit the sick, or perform deeds of charity. All of these – or any of these – may be among our duties, and they may fill our hands; but in all our occupations, the real business of life, that which we are always to strive to do, the work which must go into all our experiences if we have grasped life’s true meaning at all, is to learn to love… and to grow more loving in disposition and character.
(the thought continues) “We may learn the finest arts of life – music, painting, sculpture, poetry; or master the noblest sciences; or in conversation with refined people, we may attain the best culture; but, if in all this we do not learn love – and become more gentle in spirit and act – we have missed the prize of living.
(the thought concludes) “If in the midst of all our duties, care, trials, joys or sorrows we are not day-by-day growing in sweetness, in gentleness, in unselfishness, in thoughtfulness and all the branches of love, we are not learning the lesson set for us by our Master in this school of life.” (J.R. Miller)
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (Jesus, John 13:34-35)
“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as the propitiation for our sins. Therefore beloved, if God has so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1John 4:10-11)
“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ. But whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never stumble or fall. And in this way there will be provided for you an abundant entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” (2Peter 1:5-11, esv)
“…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patient longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control… And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Galatians 5:22-24)