Day 6: We’re Compelled to Love God’s Family – Because It is Practice for Eternity

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Point to Ponder: The greatest lesson in life is love
Verse to Remember: “We are anxious that you keep on loving others as long as life lasts, so that you will get your full reward.” — Hebrews 6:11 (LB)
Question to Consider: How can you practice love more urgently, consistently, expectantly?
[Read More] thoughts on Day 6 of Rick Warren’s 40 Days of Community.

[I should have mentioned earlier that the theme for this week is “We’re Compelled to Love God’s Family”, which is the implicit premise behind all the ‘Because’s in the titles. I’ll try to be more consistent next week.]

Today’s Point immediately makes me think of the opening (and closing) line of Moulin Rouge!:

The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.

Alas, the musical itself highlights both the glory and tragedy of human love, particularly when not grounded in a deeper understanding of God as the source of love. The good news we have is that death is not the end, so love — in Christ — really can achieve the transcendence it aspires to.

In fact, for Christians, it is almost the other way around. Earthly love is not a bird straining to fly into an imaginary heaven it can never reach. Rather, it is the shadow of angel’s wings, whose substance is of a reality far deeper than our own, that we ourselves are too ephemeral to fully grasp. Nonetheless, today’s fitful struggle to apprehend love is the very thing that makes us more real — more truly human — and fits us for heaven.

On a more practical level, this provides a deeper narrative to the raw material of human existence: “pain and suffering, joy and comfort, opposition and cooperation.” That is, those things are not the end; we do not exist merely to avoid pain and seek pleasure. Rather, they are simply the means God uses to teach us to love, because love is the end.

But lest we get the wrong idea, Rick emphasizes that we are to be heavenly minded in order to bring forth earthly good, by loving:

* urgently
* consistently
* expectantly
“The greatest rewards in heaven will be for love…It is in those we love where we will find our greatest reward.”

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

Prayer: Father, I cry out to you for your love to dwell in me. My hands are weak, and my heart is hard. I long to enter into your perfect Sabbath rest. Yet, I know that your rest is not one of self-centered apathy, but self-giving love. Teach me to taste of heaven on earth by experiencing your power to love those around me, that I may find true rest — and my own great reward — as your love is poured out through me. In the name of Him who died that we might live Love, Amen.

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