“Do you love me?” Jesus asked Peter this penetrating question years after the answer should have been mutually understood (John 21:17). But it’s nevertheless a necessary question, both for Peter and for us. If the greatest commandment is to love God with everything in us—heart, soul, mind, strength—then the greatest sin is to fall short of that purpose. And all of us—every last one of us, even on a daily basis—has fallen short. We’ve been given one ultimate command, and we tend to miss it almost hourly.
Loving God is really the focus of life. So many believers obsess about what God wants us to avoid—greed, lust, pride, anger, impatience, judgment, corruption—while really he wants us to focus on a deep, lasting, consuming affection for him. We’ve been fighting the wrong battle. We’re focused on symptoms, not the source of the disease. We forget that our behaviors flow out of our passions. If our passion is right—thoroughly focused on who he really is—the behaviors will happen pretty naturally.
Above all, cultivate deep, fervent love for God as he presents himself in scripture. That affection will shape your discipleship far more effectively than any self-imposed discipline can do. Whenever you fall short, ask him to rekindle that love in you. Every time he does, your heart comes closer to finding true fulfillment. And you come closer to fulfilling your purpose.
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