Dear brothers and sisters,
I had a good time away from writing. Now I am back and excited to write again! The past year I’ve been working on a new writing project. The inspiration for this project came from a huge transformation in my faith in the last year.
Most of my life, my motivation to practice the faith has been the reward God promises us. I generally did okay at following God’s commandments, but many times it was for selfish reasons. However, in Lent 2017 I learned to truth: the faith is about love not rewards. In following the commandments, we are loving God. God in turn loves us by giving us a reward at the end of our earthly lives. This was always there, but it went right over my head. Then I saw that God wasn’t just going to love me at my earthly death with the reward of heaven, he had already loved me for years and continued to love me in the present. The only appropriate response from me was to love him back. The problem was I didn’t know all that well how to do that.
Over the next sixth months, I studied love in relation to the faith. God revealed so much to me, it totally transformed how I saw God, the faith, and the world. I now understood how all the pieces fit together. It was no longer a struggle to avoid sin or serve others. They were just more opportunities to love God. I had a newfound sense of peace and satisfaction with life. It was then that I knew I couldn’t keep this to myself. Jesus shared everything God gave him to world, so I had to share the wisdom God gave me to the world.
I started writing in Thanksgiving 2017 but had a lot of trouble explaining love. I wanted to create a comprehensive guide, but love was just too complex. There were times I gave up on the project, but God eventually led me back by revealing to me it was okay if I didn’t know everything. He just wanted me to write what I did know. I don’t think I will ever fully understand love, but understanding some part of it has still been very helpful to me, and I think it will be very helpful to you as well.
Focusing on love is not the only way to sainthood. There are saints that went to heaven through a complete dedication to obedience. Others lived a life of penance for their sins. However, consciously or subconsciously love is always the foundation underneath. Because love is the foundation behind everything, why not focus on love?
In Reflections on Loving God each post will be a reflection on some aspect of love or loving God. God and the faith will be the focus. There are countless resources for human relationships — I don’t see a huge need for a focus there — but there are not nearly as many resources on loving God. Despite this, if you improve your relationship with God, I believe your human relationships will also improve. The same skills are used in both situations.
This project is open-ended. I will have more to write in the beginning, but love is a complex subject. God might reveal more to me, and I will have more reflections to write. The reflections will mostly fall into three groups:
- Definitions of love – Looking at love from just one narrow angle in an attempt to understand it more
- How God loves you – Seeing how God loves you in one aspect of your life
- Ways to love God – Something you can do to love God more
As I wrote above, I’m really excited about this project. I really believe it will make a difference in your life. It might even be life changing. I’m sure you have things you don’t like about yourself. Why not let God work on those things? You only need to understand love more. Then you can fully receive God into your life. Do you feel lonely or unloved by others? God is here to comfort you and give you all the love you have ever wanted if you can only see his presence in your life. Do you already love God but wish to love him even more? Start practicing a new way to love him.
Note that everything I write can be found somewhere in the Bible or at least implied. Never think that God has somehow given me exclusive wisdom, not found anywhere else. The Bible is the only inspired (“God-breathed”) word of God. Anything I write is just a reinforcement or supplement to the Bible. I apologize in advance for not having extensive knowledge of the Bible to provide chapter and verse for everything. I will include them when I can remember them.
Your friend in Christ,
All Saints Day
November 1, 2018