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Are You Stuck in Spiritual Neutral?
By Rick Warren

“Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!)” Ephesians 1:4-5 (The Message)

A while back, a man came into my office and said, “I’m a Christian, but I don’t feel like I’m going anywhere in my spiritual growth. I’m kind of stuck in neutral.” 

I said, “What do you think the problem is?” 

He said, “I think my problem is I just don't love God enough.” 

I said, “That's not your problem. Your problem is not that you don't love God enough. Your problem is that you don't understand how much he loves you.”

Love is always a response to love. The Bible says, “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19 NIV). When you say, “I don't love God,” it's because you don't understand just how much he really loves you.

In fact, God loved you before he even created the Earth. The Bible says it like this: “Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love” (Ephesians 1:4 The Message).

To understand your life’s purpose and calling, you have to begin with God’s nature. God is love. Love is the essence of his nature. 

And the focus of his love is you. You were created to be loved by God. 

If you grasp that profound truth and let it sink into your soul, you will find great strength, confidence, and peace. God created the entire universe in a specific way to support the existence of human beings so that he could create you and love you.

The most important thing you can know is that God created you to love you. The most important thing you can do is to know and love him back. Loving God back is your number one purpose in life. Ants and snails do not love, but you were made in God’s image, so you can love.

Most people go their entire lives missing their purpose. They know all kinds of things—stock quotes, sports scores, the latest technology—but they don’t know God. They miss out on discovering the depth of God’s love and all the blessings he has in store for them.

But that doesn’t have to be true for you. God’s priority for your life is clear. It’s important to serve, obey, and trust him. But your first purpose is to love him.

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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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