Everything that has ever been made was made for a specific purpose. Can you think of one thing in your life that you own that doesn't have a purpose? We own cars to get around, work and shop. We have kitchens because we need to eat. We have beds because we need to sleep. We buy tools because we need to make and fix things. We have lights so we can see in the dark. Everything in our lives and homes has a clear purpose or we wouldn't have it. And yet, the one thing that seemingly has no clear purpose or function in life is human beings. So, if you ask people what their purpose or function in life is all about few have any clear and meaningful answer to give you. If you doubt that just try asking someone sometime about this issue and be ready to be amazed at the lack of answers you will receive.
How wonderful then that the Lord has a simple and easy answer to the question of our specific function and purpose in life. You see the Lord designed human beings for the singular purpose of receiving and giving love. That's it! The Lord just wants us to enjoy His love and share it with others because God is love (I John 4:8). This ability and need to share love is the foundation of the Bible and the Lord's purposes in the world today and forever. It is that foundation of love that is behind the Lord Jesus Christ telling us about God's greatest commandments for our lives in Matthew 22:36-40 where we hear,
"Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?"Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
Without this understanding that people are designed for love, life doesn't make much sense. Sadly, multitudes of people are living today without the one thing they were designed for and should be living for each day. As a result, multitudes end up looking for love in all the wrong places. Every hurting, lonely and wounded person in the entire world today is suffering from a love deficiency. Such is the great tragedy of the human condition in our fallen world.
You see, it is God's love that designed, created and sustains the universe every moment. With it we can do all things and without it we can't really do anything that will last. As a result of God's love being at the center of things down here, all of us are just learning about love. You might say we are all enrolled in "love boot camp". This is true whether we are single, married, divorced or a widow/widower. All of us are just in training to learn to love God and others the way the Lord loves us. That is the purpose of our lives.
With the purpose of life being so "simple" you would wonder why so few people seem to spend much time on this activity. Instead of spending time on loving relationships, people get distracted on loving just about anything else. People spend time loving animals, their jobs and careers, hobbies, traveling, eating, entertainment, cars, houses, kitchens, sports, phones, computers...the list is long. As a matter of fact, it is very easy to find just about anything else to love but the Lord and people...the only two loves that last forever. Sure, these other loves can be fun for a season, but they don't last and are really just counterfeits of the REAL thing. No dear friends, the great way to enjoy life to the fullest is to love the Lord and others. That is where we should be spending our time.
If the devil has one mission in life, it is to get us away from loving the Lord and others. Back in the Garden the devil tried to get us tied up with the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, as opposed to the Tree of Life. People were seduced by more and more knowledge that gave them personal power and control, a phony kind of knowledge. The really important knowledge in life was and is connected to knowing the Lord, the Tree of Life and learning how to love the Lord and others. This relational knowledge is what is most satisfying in the end to every person. To just have more and more information or knowledge about life, without real love as its focus, ends up giving us nothing of lasting value that satisfies our souls or longing hearts. That kind of knowledge is a counterfeit to the real thing and misses the purpose for which we were designed by the Lord.
Sadly, we are watching this drama playing itself out all around us today as building loving relationships with the Lord and others in our families and churches seems to be getting weaker and weaker. At the same time, cell phones, computers, the Internet and all kinds of dazzling technology are getting stronger and more seductive. As a result, the love we were meant to experience and share is being lost to an increasingly impersonal world of social media and shallow relationships that don't satisfy us. Record numbers of people today feel alone, depressed and anxious as our suicide rates soar. We are beginning to realize that technology is a bad lover of our soul because it can never create or build the loving relationships we were designed for in life.
Now when we stop to consider that Jesus was and is the Tree of Life, we realize the choice placed before us today was the same choice in the Garden to Adam and Eve. Do we want to receive the Lord and His love for us OR do we want to be as "god" with our own toys and idols that come from more and more knowledge and technology? That knowledge is stealing a deeper and richer love from our lives that most don't see. This issue focuses on the great question about the true purpose of knowledge that every person should be asking in this hour. It is a subject that should be talked about more in our homes and by the Lord's church as we seek God's real purpose and meaning for our lives.
If there was ever a time to rediscover the basic gospel message of God's love in Christ it is NOW. The real message of life was not just the Lord talking about love, but showing His love on the cross in a way that lights up the universe with real love. The cross is the ultimate story of our purpose and design in life in receiving the Lord's love and giving it to others. Once we come to the cross and thinking deeply on God's love for us we are changed, and we are drawn by the Holy Spirit into the love story for the ages that will never end.
This past weekend was connected to Valentine's Day, a day largely created by florists and greeting card companies to speak about love. But honestly, shouldn't every day be a celebration of love? Valentine's Day can be an emotional day for many people for a variety of reasons. For some it meant receiving flowers, gifts and hearing some words of love and appreciation. But for others, those words were not heard and the gifts may not have been received or given. Surely that had to be the case for more than a few empty hearts. But the good news is that the Lord is shouting from heaven of His love for us. The universe is shouting a love song today that was created and designed for us by our loving Lord. That is the message of life and love forever more.
So in closing, let's celebrate today as a wonderful day to receive the Lord's love in Christ and pass that love along to someone with a hug, a word of love, a note, a gift or action that demonstrates the real reason we are alive today. Let's go the Lord today and tell Him we love Him and say, "Lord, I love you!!! Thank you for loving me first. Thank you for letting me love others the way you have loved me." Let's go to work on practicing and enjoying the real and ultimate purpose of our lives regarding love. YES, we get to practice today, but we will live it all out forever...and that is just an amazing thought!