By Dr. Randy Carlson
As I have mentioned, I am a “head” person and I like to sit and think about things. I often ask myself questions and recently found myself asking:
- How does the Bible speak of intentional living?
- Can you really do it, or is it just a slogan or ministry hype?
- What does the Bible teach about how we are to live our lives?
- Can intentional living make a difference for me? For others?
In order to answer those questions, I had to go back to the basics. John, the disciple Jesus loved, says that God’s great love for us compelled Him to sacrifice His only Son, which provided the one and only way to salvation through Jesus Christ. That act of sacrifice also gives us security in knowing we belong to God and our relationship with Him is assured (John 3:16-18). But, this is not the end of the story.
If you compare that passage (John 3:16-18) to first or 1 John 3:16-18, you’ll discover the why behind what God did. God wants you to experience His great love by seeing and understanding that Jesus died for us. He laid down His life—He gave it up because of this great love for you and me. And through salvation we can know and experience His love. In this parallel of scripture we are encouraged to lay our lives down for others. We’re encouraged to die to self for someone else and follow Jesus’ example.
An intentional life in Christ requires that we figure out what will please Christ and then do it. We can’t experience an intentional life in Christ if we don’t know what the Bible teaches. So, in this particular example, we love others because we’re loving them for Him. We’re choosing to love them to please Him and follow His example.
God gave us eternal life. That’s His gift to us whether we choose it or not. Should we choose to accept His gift then we should want to give our lives back to Him. Intentional Living—doing those things that please Him—is our gift back to Him. Our decision to be intentional—or not—comes down to what we do in response to our love for God.
It comes down to knowing enough (head), caring enough (heart) and doing enough (hand). In this example, we know that God desires for us to show His love by sharing what we have with others. Good words and a great speech is not enough. It’s taking what you know, caring about others enough to take action and doing something that demonstrates God’s love to them.
Are you willing to bring Him pleasure by living the life He created you for? Establish one godly goal—find out what the Bible says about the thing you’re wrestling with—or what He wants you to do for someone else—and then take action by doing that next right one thing today! That’s living the intentional life! That’s doing what matters most for the love of God.
Suggested Intentional Living Broadcast
What things do you do that please God? Post your comments below.