I teach professional development to college students. I help them set goals and think deeply about a personal mission. Lately, though, when I think about achievement, future plans, goal setting, and hopes and dreams, I find myself thinking about this singular hope and goal: to walk “in the way of love” (Ephesians 5:1-2). What does that mean?
It’s really about this right here as Paul writes: Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
I most love the part of this verse that reminds us why we can walk in love and give ourselves up for one another. It’s because we are “dearly loved children.” A dearly loved child doesn’t worry about anything; she has everything she needs. She gives to others freely. She doesn’t live in jealousy or comparison or fear or shame. She is dearly loved. She doesn’t have to always take from others; she gives and relates to others with freedom, joy, security, and generosity. She knows she is loved. Her life becomes about this deep love.
I consider more and more that life’s grand purpose is to know how dearly loved we are by God and to then life a life of love. That’s it! That’s the whole thing. Think of the simplicity of 1 John 4:19: We love because he first loved us.
Paul prays this for us in Ephesians 1: And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight . . .
May we grow to know how dearly loved we are. And then may we live a life of profound and unexplainable love. The Holy Spirit will teach us how and enhance this fruit of love given to us (Galatians 5).