At the beginning of the year our church hosted a life group that studied the life of Elijah through a book by Chris Hodges titled, “Out of the Cave.” A key point that Hodges brought out regards the importance of taking an honest look at our life priorities, loves, and having balance. He notes that many of us say we love God, and that God comes first in our lives, but the way we spend our time, money, and affections point to other priorities. Jesus shared the story of a very successful person who focused on wealth instead of God, tearing down his barns to build bigger ones to store the overflowing abundance of his possessions. In the end, the man lost what was most important. “God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:20-21). Do you love God more than anyone or anything else, and are you investing in your relationship with Him?
What about your relationships with other people? Investing in relationships is always important—not every relationship, but the ones that are integral to who God has called us to be and where he has placed us. We need to invest ourselves as much as possible in relationships with those who enhance, nourish, encourage, and sustain our lives. Conversely, we need to distance ourselves as much as possible from those who rob us of life. We need relationships in which we can be real with others who share our Christian faith so we can shoulder one another’s burdens and celebrate one another’s joys. Are you investing in relationships with other Christians in the church, or are you dismissive about their importance?
Our love for God and the people of his church will bring us closer to him, enabling us to illuminate God’s goodness, peace, provision, and power to those around us. When we do things that help God’s kingdom to grow around us and overcome the darkness in this world, we reveal that he is real to us, that he is meaningful, and that we love him. Do you love God…really?
Something to think about in this Valentine’s season!