Loving + Learning = Living!

Posted by Randy | Labels: , , , , , | Posted On Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 8:15 PM

This morning I was reading my Life Journal reading plan reading - Philippians. This may be my favorite book of the entire Bible. It's full of joy! But it also tells us some incredible things about Jesus Christ. In fact, I'll be focusing on some of this in Philippians 2 in my Sunday messages on the Incarnation this month.

But this morning I found something else that really caught my attention. I would usually journal this in my Life Journal, but I felt this was something I wanted to write out and share.

"I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ's return." (Philippians 1:9-10 NLT)

Vs. 10 caught my attention first - Paul wants us to understand what really matters. Isn't that what we all want, one way or another? And how do we discover that? Paul tells us in the previous verse/sentence. He points to two things: (1) overflowing love, and (2) growing in knowledge and understanding. It's learning and loving, and loving and learning - back and forth. It's not one or the other - both are the key to living! Loving + Learning = Living!

Love grows out of increasing knowledge and understanding of who Jesus is and what he has done for us. Love grows out of realizing God has loved us unconditionally and sacrificially through Jesus. And as I love more, I want to know even more about Jesus and our Heavenly Father. It's back and forth - loving and learning. 

To me this becomes a picture of what the maturing follower of Christ looks like - both loving and learning. They go hand-in-hand. And the outcome is a life worth living, a life that makes a difference, a life that fulfills God's purpose for him or her. 

Too often in my life I have drifted to one extreme or another. Learning for learning's sake, and developing a faith life that really doesn't make much difference in anyone else's life. In fact, it becomes a very self-serving life. Or serving others, because we're supposed to love our neighbors, but not really understanding why. After a while, I found it became pretty senseless. Doing good so others would notice and in some small way applaud. And once again it became pretty self-serving.

I have been out on both extremes, and neither was very satisfying. What I see here from Paul is that to live the way we were created to live, to live "pure and blameless lives," requires loving and learning. It's the secret to living. Living for the sake of others, because we've spent time learning about Christ and his love for us. It sounds simple, yet at least in my life it's a continual struggle to get the right balance. We really need the Holy Spirit's help on this. I hope and pray you've been doing better than I have - it's definitely worth it!

Loving + Learning = Living!