S90P1 – That which love seeks: life

John 3:16-17

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Each man thought that his fatherly love was genuine and complete, but they expressed that love in very different ways.  The first thought his provision was sufficient to show his love.  Not one for affection or adventure, he considered his fatherly duty complete by providing food, shelter and protection.  To him, love manifest itself in fulfilling his responsibility to care as he thought a father was expected to care.  The second expressed his love by going beyond what we consider necessity and encouraging his children to experience the world around them, to be affectionate and adventurous.  He wanted life to excite and motivate them.  The first man’s love focused on existing while the second man’s love focused on living.

What God gave humankind in the garden was the experience of life.  The love which precipitated his creating us was moved by a desire to create life.  This life was not just about breathing and surviving.  The life God gave Adam and Eve in the garden was about experience and fellowship with him.  Trees and grass exist, but people live.  When the life God gave us was traded in by us for what we have now, it was God’s love which brought about the plan for redemption.  There is a difference between being alive and actually living.  Love will motivate us to seek for others the experience of living, the beauty of emotion and relationship and excitement and adventure in this life.  

There are many who are alive in this world but who have not ever actually lived.  They might contemplate the end of this life because they see no joy or beauty in it.  What they do not know is that God gives us the opportunity not only to be alive but to live.  That is what changes us when we surrender ourselves to him.  Life is a cloudy mirror without him.  He clarifies the picture and slowly shows us what living is all about.  This is an act of his love.  In choosing God we are choosing life.  In following him we are deciding to actually live instead of just being alive.  Father, grow in us your love for life that we would desire those around us to live as fully as we do in You.