One of the things President Reagan was most renowned for was his great love affair with his wife, Nancy. A number of his letters to her have even been published in a book, but he is not the only one who has shared his heart in such a dramatic way. For the greatest collection of love letters can be found in Scripture, written by God to His beloved bride, the church.
After all, John 3:16 could very well be the most famous world-wide declaration of love ever given. But how do we respond to such sacrificial love, and what could we possibly give our almighty God in return? The answer is simple, yet not necessarily easy – for God has given us the freedom to choose our priorities and won’t force us to love Him. However, when we refuse to allow any of the following temptations to distract us from our devotion to Him, we, in a way, begin drafting through our actions, our own love letters to God :
Self: Our flesh craves gratification and it’s quite easy and natural to love ourselves first and foremost in this life. Yet these selfish tendencies can quickly distort our priorities to become about how we feel, what we want and how others esteem us. Yet, ironically, it’s when we die to self that we experience the true freedom, joy and peace we so deeply desire (Mark 8:35).
Stuff: We love our stuff – from what we drive, what we wear, what we have and where we live, our possessions and the desire for more can hold a tight grip on our motivations. After all, as the old adage goes, the one with the most toys wins. However, in reality, we are not designed to simply acquire things of this world, for a greater purpose and eternal life awaits us (Matthew 6:20). Therefore, may we never be so blinded by what we can see that we neglect the even greater treasures of Christ.
Success: We can theoretically check all the boxes this world has to offer by attending the best schools, holding the most prestigious positions and wielding the most power; but after we have reached such pinnacles of worldly success what good will it be if we enter eternity apart from God (Philippians 3:19)?
Application: “Choosing Christ” – Joshua 24:15
Clearly, God first chose us and from the first day of our creation, He has loved us. However, even though it may be simple for us to say, choosing to love Christ through our actions isn’t always the easiest thing for us to do on a consistent basis. For various distractions always come our way. Yet, God remains endlessly faithful in return and when Jesus becomes our whole hearted priority, we soon discover all the bright and shiny things of this world soon grow strangely dim.