What is a rule? “A rule or belief governing one’s personal behavior.”
A rule is external, but a principle is a personal, deep conviction that is core to who you are. Everything that you do will be governed by this principle.
A speed limit is a rule, not a principle. Living with purpose has to be principle living. Otherwise we will go wherever the wind blows us, which doesn’t bring meaning and it doesn’t bring happiness.
The will of God isn’t hard to understand, it isn’t confusing. The will of God is something around 90% about who you are inside and about 10% about what you do on the outside. These principles that we are talking about will give you a basis for being the kind of person that God wants you to be on the inside.
We have a natural tendency to resist rules. However, when a rule aligns with something that I believe on the inside, it no longer feels like a rule, it is something that we are glad to do.
Thoughtful christians are powerful christians. It is incredible how little we think, it is very easy to be like “zombies.” There is a big difference between a person who memorizes facts and someone who understand why something works the way it does.
If the principles of God’s word are simply facts, they won’t become deeply personal to you. The principles that we are going to look at flow from the very character of who God is.
Mark 12:29-31 – Jesus leaves nothing out here, he is asking us to love God with our entire being. This is the single greatest command that Jesus brings up.
This is a governing principle – Love God and love your neighbors. All of the other laws depend on this.
Romans 13:8 – The focus of this verse is love. If we have other debts, we can pay them off… but we can never fulfill all of the love that we owe.
1 John 4 – God is, in his very essence love. When we are born again we begin to love people in ways that we never thought we could. God first loved us, our response is to love him back, the love that comes into us from God also flows out to those around us. If we can’t love those around us, if it isn’t the basis for all of our relationships… we are liars.
John 13:34-35 – This is the identifiable characteristic of christians. We love people. We love everyone. Earlier in this chapter we see the incredible love that Jesus had for his disciples, he stooped down and washed their feet. To love is to serve.
Matthew 25:31-46 – Jesus makes the same statement about those who were separated to both sides. The difference is that one served him, not because he was Jesus, but because they saw a need and they helped.
Love is an action word. It involves sacrifice. It involves self denial. Love isn’t primarily a feeling, there is a feeling involved with love, but it isn’t primarily that. It is primarily an expression of character. It has much less to do with the person who we are loving, and more to do with who we are.
Luke 10, Matthew 8 – Jesus reached out and touched this man with leprosy. In spite of how the man looked and smelled… Jesus reached out and touched him.
Jim & Elisabeth Elliot – Jim was a very talented man. He had everything going for him. Many people told him that he should give up his desire to reach the natives in Ecuador. He was speared to death. His wife made it her life mission to reach those people, and she did. That is love. A powerful example of what love does.
Love has to be able to look beyond the circumstances, beyond the filth and the dirt… love has to govern what you do.
What are some practical ways in our life that are affected by love?
- Love will motivate us to speak to those around us who aren’t ready for eternity.
- Love isn’t primarily a feeling. When we act in love the feelings often follow.
- Love listens to understand how to better show love.
- Love shows mercy.
- Love is trying to respect, honor and obey a father who has walked out.
- Love pushes a younger brother on the swing.
- Love helps mom with things in the house.
Love can, and will, revolutionize and change your life.
This is part of a series of messages preached by Glenn Horst at our Youth Rally weekend in March 2016. All of the sessions are linked below.
- Living Life with Purpose – Session 1
- Living Life with Purpose – Session 2
- Living Life with Purpose – Session 3
- Living Life with Purpose – Session 4
- Living Life with Purpose – Session 5