Let me pose a question to you. What is your goal as a Christ-follower? This question is not directed to church-goers (even though you may attend a church faithfully). This question is not directed to pastors, preachers, and church leaders (even though you may be a pastor, preacher, or a church leader). This question is to those who have been regenerated by the Spirit of Christ by receiving the complete work of the cross that He died on. This question is directed to those who have a genuine, growing relationship with Jesus Christ. The question again...what is your goal? Is it to go to seminary? Perhaps your goal is to memorize as much scripture as you can fit into your brain during your life. Perhaps you goal is to reconcile with every enemy you acquired before you met Jesus. But what is your goal?
Let me submit to you that there is only one goal for the Christ-follower. If we can focus on this one goal, we reach our fullest potential in Christ! If our focus is on this one goal, we will grow as a born again believer. We will not remain a child in Christ, but we will grow up in every aspect into Jesus. What is that goal? It is very simple. It is clearly outlined in the Word. Paul states it in I Timothy 1: 5, "But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith." Our reason for maturity in Christ is for the purpose of love (or expressing love). Love (according to Paul) can only come from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a genuine faith." Every message you feed on, every second of your quiet time, all the formal training, every prayer you offer up, every life experience as a Christian, every second in His tangible presence, and so on...propels you toward just one goal...love. As you probably know, life itself is designed to mold and discipline the Christ-follower as we learn to trust God through every season. We find in the Proverbs that whom God loves, He disciplines as a father would discipline his own son. This too contributes toward the goal of love for you and me. According to Paul in I Corinthians 13, "Love never fails". Jesus tells us that all of the Law and the Prophets (from the Old Testament) hang on just two greater laws "You shall love God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and you shall love your neighbor as yourself." Jesus said all of the Law is fulfilled in love. It's all about love! God's love. God's love in you and me. That's our goal in Christ.
Even though God's love resides in you the instant you receive Him, it is not fully realized until we grow in Him. God's love is not automatic in that we are totally zapped (personality-wise) into a love machine when we are introduced to Him. But we must be instructed, trained, and disciplined - day in and day out, growing up in Him, and offering to others the same love He has given to us. That's your goal!