The greater the understanding and appreciation we have for God, the greater our love will be for Him. We can’t help but love Him the more we understand that we serve and trust in a God who didn’t just create physical life, but He sustains it, cares for it, and He provides hope and victory over physical life when it’s over! He not only has provided physical life which includes peace and hope on this earth for His children, but even more than that He has provided the opportunity to have eternal life with Him in glory!

Jesus says to God the Father in John 17:3,

“This is eternal life that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

Man cannot be saved without knowing God and His Son Jesus Christ who has provided eternal life in the first place. The word ‘know’ in this passage is much more than just knowing or believing that God exists or just knowing that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and was resurrected. To know God or to know Jesus is to have a deep understanding of who God is and who Jesus is through the study of God’s inspired Word. It’s a deep knowledge of God that leads to greater faith, greater trust, and greater love. It’s a knowledge that will lead us to obey God and live as a disciple of Jesus because we love our God and our Savior, and we are thankful for the indescribable gift given in the sacrifice of Jesus’ body and blood on that cross.

Love for our Lord will lead us to die to ourselves and our sinful ways and be buried with Christ in that watery grave of baptism so that we can be raised to live a new life in Him. The apostle Paul states it like this:

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me“…Galatians 2:20

Jesus Christ gave His life for our sins so that we could choose to die for our sins and allow Him to live in us. At that point, we no longer live by sight or by our desires, but Paul reminds us that we choose to live by faith in Jesus the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us. When we come to understand the love Jesus had to give Himself up for us, and we also come to understand the love God the Father had in giving up His only Son for us, our response is to love in return. Although we could never repay that love, we can demonstrate our love by giving up our old way of life and the earthly desires we had before knowing Christ, so that He can live in us.

Later in Galatians 5:24, Paul says:

“Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

A life of faith is a life that belongs to Christ and is lived out of love and thankfulness for the amazing love that was poured out for us at Calvary. It’s a life that can only be lived once we die to the passions and desires of this world.

Continuing to grow in our love for our God and living by faith requires us to be intentional in our actions and thoughts. Paul encourages the Colossians brethren in their thoughts with these words:

“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth”Colossians 3:1-2

Seeking God and the things above and setting our minds on things above will help us keep our focus on what matters. All that matters are the things that have to do with our eternal God, His eternal Word, and His eternal purpose! May the love that God has already demonstrated, motivate us to continue growing in our love for Him!

To God Be the Glory!

Excel Still More

Billy Clabaugh
Author | + posts

Billy, his wife Shayla, and their son Caleb live in Sayre, Oklahoma where he has been blessed to preach since 2012. He has a bachelor’s degree in Math Education from Oklahoma Christian University and a master’s degree in Sports Administration from Eastern New Mexico University. He enjoys reading, watching the Oklahoma Sooners, spending time with his family, and serving in the Kingdom of God.  Billy also serves on the board of directors for Excel Still More and is a regular speaker and writer for the workshop and other publications.