Some of us “wear our hearts on our sleeves.” Our affection and feelings are obvious to others.
Some of us also wear our hearts on our car bumpers. Your car may sport one of those “I heart” stickers. You know the ones – I heart Siamese cats… I heart Jack Russell Terriers… I heart tractor pulls… I heart my Nana…
Developmental psychologists tell us that human beings need to be loved from the first breath. We need 4 essentials for a healthy life – 4 A’s: Attachments; Appreciation; Affirmation; Affection. To be created in the image of God means giving and receiving love, putting our hearts out there.
God’s love FOR us is the bedrock of faith, and our love FOR God is the core of our life’s calling. And that love should show. The Israelites were exhorted to post that command — Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and might — on more than the rear bumpers of their chariots – on the entrance to their homes, on their arms and foreheads, and, most importantly, on the hearts and minds of their children.
So, are our lives a love offering to God?
Luke’s ambitious account of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and his account of the Acts of the Apostles are addressed to someone particular: most excellent Theophilus.
For some time, there’s been quite a debate about the identity of this Theophilus – some contend Theophilus is the name of a Roman dignitary, your EXCELLENCY Theophilus.
The name itself means “one who loves God.” And so, many believe Luke is writing the Good News for ANYONE who seeks to know and love God more fully.
Could YOU be Theophilus? (Perhaps you’re thinking, “I cannot even pronounce ‘Theophilus.’”)
But Jesus himself sums up all 613 commandments of the Jewish law in the practical demonstration of love for God and neighbor. OUR Greatest Commandment is to love God with heart, mind, soul, and strength, Jesus says.
Most excellent Theophilus, writes Luke, I resolved to share with you God’s great gift of undying love in Jesus Christ. Is Luke addressing us? Well, if we claim our true names, our true identity, if we respond with our whole lives to God, than “Theophilus” IS us.
If looking for Theophilus, will you look in the mirror?