Updated: Jan 27
Ephesians 3: 17b-19
In this blog series extracted from my new book, Live Like You're Loved, I asked the following questions to conclude the prior blog:
How does God intend us to live?
What would the result be if we trusted in God's love, not with head knowledge, but with a heart knowledge that sticks in our souls?
What would your life look like if you truly lived like you're loved?
To answer these, I'm jumping all the way to the end of the book, describing the results of believing the Biblical truths and following the SAIL steps (baby step actions) outlined in the book to truly live like you're loved. I conclude that there are four ways your life will change and will reflect living like you're loved.
First, you will possess a more joyful spirit. You will live differently because you are secure in the knowledge of God’s love, forgiveness and presence with you in all circumstances. Paul wrote in Ephesians 3: 17b-19:
I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Indeed, when we are filled to the measure with all the fullness of God, we experience joy that conquers any situation, any circumstance.
Joy gives you a free and lighter spirit (as in the picture that accompanies this blog, I suppose). You will also attain a more resilient spirit as the second condition of living like you're loved. Of course, I wouldn't say that you will gracefully handle every situation. But when you become angry, feel guilty, worry too much, etc., you won't cling to that emotion or obsess about the situation for as long or as deeply.
That's because you experience the power of resiliency, being able to right yourself quickly and returning to a steady state, because you experience God's love, forgiveness, sending purpose and eternal connection. These permanent feelings help you get over temporary feelings and conditions. In the book, I describe examples of how this has applied in my life.
A third result when you live like you're loved is that you become a better person who loves and cares for others in Christ-like ways. You become less prone to sin, more loving toward others, and better able to do what Jesus would do.
I tell a story in the book of how my wife Sara applied the principles of living like you're loved in handling a rude woman who cut her off for a parking space in a grocery lot. Sara was resilient and quickly released her disappointment. Later that same woman spilled her groceries in the busy pathway in front of the store. While angry drivers were backed up, Sara is the one who left her vehicle to help the woman pick up her groceries and get them to her car. Sara could have rejoiced at how "karma" had punished this woman, but she didn't. This kind of mercy and forgiveness is in short supply in our society, but in ample supply when we live like we're loved.
The fourth result of living like you're loved is that you grow closer in your relationship with God. How could you not? When you truly know God instead of knowing about God, you experience His love and forgiveness and presence. Not only that, but you seek that presence with a new hunger, as David expressed in Psalm 63: 1:
O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
In seeking and finding God, you will experience a "daily ride" with God's Holy Spirit, ruggedly facing all the challenges of life joyfully, with resiliency, acting more Christ-like, and continuing to grow your relationship with God. Living like you're loved sounds pretty good, doesn't it? That's because it's how God intended us to live, filled to the measure with His love that can flow through us to others.
In my next Wednesday devotional, I'll start diving into the truths that you are loved by God, forgiven by God, sent by God, and an eternal creature in connection with God. I'll examine the scripture that tells of God's love for us.
These blogs can only scratch the surface of the entirety of the work, "Live Like You're Loved." It's a book for you to read individually or with a group. It's also a video series that your group can watch and discuss. You can dive deeper with a Participant's Guide that allows you to further process the concepts with activities, questions, meditations and Bible study. Learn more about the full range of offerings at CecilTaylorMinistries.com. For just the printed materials, you can also find them in these links at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Dove Christian Publishers.