Creating a rhythm consists of having a healthy pulse. A pulse is evidence of someone who is alive and breathing, and a pulse can determine the strength of someone’s heartbeat. The best way to do that is to Love God, Love yourself, and to Love others.
Thinking in terms of our relationship to Jesus, our pulse reveals how strong our relationship is to Jesus. Everyone’s biggest question on earth is, “What is my purpose in life”? In order to see our purpose in life, we have to see God’s purpose in sending Jesus to this earth. And it can all be summed up in 1 Timothy 1:15, “I have come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.”
Jesus came into this world to save sinners but we have also been commissioned by Jesus to “Go into the world and make disciples, to baptize them, and to teach them everything from the Scriptures.” Jesus even described the greatest commandment as “loving the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself.” If this is the greatest commandment given to us, we should desire to be the best at loving Jesus and loving others. How do we do that?
We do that by loving God COMPLETELY, loving ourselves CORRECTLY, and loving others COMPASSIONATELY.
1.LOVE GOD COMPLETELY
To love God completely is to love him clearly, dearly, and nearly.
- To love God clearly is to desire to have knowledge of who God is and to understand the love of Christ. This is not something that happens overnight. It takes time and repetition to understand God more clearly.
- To love God dearly is not just loving God with our mind (knowledge of God) but in experience. When we see the acceptance and security we have in Jesus, we can then begin to see Jesus as the author of our faith and the source of our joy.
- To love God nearly is to enjoy him as we grow in our faith to God. To love God nearly is to trust his character and to believe that He works all things together for good (Romans 8:28). In trusting God it will cause us to want to obey him. But even in our obedience to God, it may not always make sense, but we can trust that His Word is perfect and his promise is real. In our life when circumstances and trials hit, God never leaves us but strengthens us through them which causes us to trust him more.
2. LOVE OURSELVES CORRECTLY
To talk about loving ourselves almost contradicts everything we know about Christianity. It’s so easy to talk about ways to love ourselves, but in essence, God wants us to love ourselves correctly by looking through the lens of Christ honestly. Loving ourselves is not about how we think we should feel, but how Christ looks at us.
We are constantly in danger of letting the world instead of God define us because it’s much easier that way. The Scriptures teach us not to look at ourselves but to look to Christ for solving our problems. Loving ourselves correctly means seeing ourselves as God sees us, through the lens of Jesus Christ.
This is not something that just comes naturally to us, it is something we must work hard at. We must discipline ourselves to search the Scriptures so that we would not think of ourselves as higher than God. What does it mean for us to see ourselves like God sees us?
We have to see grace as what it is. Grace is something we do not deserve, but through Christ’s sacrificial death, we are granted forgiveness of our sins. Without God we are nothing. In Christ, we can now enjoy complete freedom and forgiveness of our sins. The Bible teaches us that God is more concerned with who we are than what we do.
3. LOVE OTHER COMPASSIONATELY
In order to love others the way they are to be loved, we can only do that by first loving God. In Christianity, it is relationship-based and not religion-based. It is about how God came to the earth to save sinners. In a relationship with God, we can identify with Christ as Christ came to identify with us, which then allows us to imitate Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1).
Philippians 2:3-4 tells us to not “do anything in selfishness, but in humility count other’s interest as greater than your own.” When we do that, we are putting on the identity of Christ which is the most important attribute in loving others with compassion.
Creating a gospel rhythm in our lives requires a devoted love to God, undivided attention to humble ourselves, and a desire to love others just as Jesus loves them.