“But the aim of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith” (1Tim.1:5)
Last weekend I presented a seminar over near Raleigh, NC, entitled “Transformation by Design” in which I covered (among other things) 1. the most common primary causes of transformation; 2. the means by which we participate in transformation; and 3. the contexts which best foster transformation. And of course one of the main reasons for engaging in any of this is to become more the person God created us to be. But perhaps I should have gone one step further.
I just finished reading a great little booklet, Getting Love Right, by Dallas Willard (which is basically a transcript of a presentation he did in 2007). Dallas there makes a point of First Timothy 1:5 where Paul clarifies the whole point of our teaching, training, and learning. Our aim is Love.
Not just an effort to love better, but love that is born out of a pure heart, as we become more and more like Jesus. Our hope is to love how He loved — with Joy and Competence, not because we should or because we are trying to be good. Just because we are becoming good, and love is what good delights in.
So as we participate in devotional time with God (and various other practices), as we learn to participate with God’s means of transformation within a supporting context, we must always keep in mind that our reason for pursuing all of this is so we can love from a pure heart, and bring the goodness of God to others.