“3 Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write a careful account for you, most honorable Theophilus, 4 so you can be certain of the truth of everything you were taught.” – Luke 1:3-4 (NLT)
Luke addresses his account of the good news to someone named Theophilus. Theophilus literally means “Lover of God,” or “Friend of God.” Some scholars believe that this was a pseudonym, or fake name, for either one person or a group of people. It would be so cool to be referred to as “Lover of God.” How does somebody get that nickname?
Thinking about Theophilus, whoever it was, and what the name means really makes me wonder what it looks like to really love God. Yeah, I say that I love God, and I am pretty sure that I do, but I want to love God so much that when people see me they say, “There goes that God-lover.” The question is, how do I get there? In Matthew 13, Jesus tells a parable about a man who finds a treasure in a field. It goes like this:
“44 “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.”
-Matthew 13:44 (NLT)
Most preachers would make this passage into a sermon about the cost of following Christ, but now thanks to a professor of mine, Dean, I see it differently. This guy didn’t even consider the cost of the treasure. He knew he had found something that was worth everything. And as the New Living Translation put it, “In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.” This guy was excited about selling all of his stuff! Once this man encountered the treasure, he loved it so much that everything else lost value. That is how I need to feel about God. After encountering God, there is nothing that should ever get in the way of going back and digging up that treasure. I need to love God to the point of complete and utter stupidity in the world’s eyes. I feel called to love God so much that people look at me and say, “What in the world is that God-lover up to this time?” Personally, I do not live in that mindset as much as I should, and I put God off to the side and pretend that he can’t see what’s wrong in my life. I trip up in my faith and love for him, but God is calling me constantly to that treasure in the field, and I pray that I can give up everything for him each day because of my love for Him and what He has done.