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RENOVARÉ LEADER TO BLUFFTON LISTENERS: LOVE GOD, OTHERS
"Why are you alive?" the Rev. Chris Webb asked his Bluffton University audience members. "Why do you exist?" Challenging them to think about their lives and purpose, Webb claimed they were here for one reason and one reason only.
"To love and be loved, and, above all, to love God and be loved by God," Webb said.
Accompanied by the Rev. Mickey Cox and University of Colorado-Denver student Ryan Price, Webb spoke at Bluffton Feb. 8 as part of the universitys Spiritual Life Week. Webb is president and Cox is ministry coordinator of Renovaré, a Denver-based, nonprofit Christian organization that models, resources and advocates intentional living through Christian spiritual formation.
Webb explained how what we do, what monuments we may build, will eventually turn to dust. "All the things you build here on Earth will all eventually turn to dust," Webb said. "But love persists."
Love of others and love of God is the only thing that matters, he said. "In this passage," said Webb, quoting John 17, "Jesus prays, This is eternal lifethat they may know you, the only true God, and his son, whom you have sent. That we may know God."
Eternal life will be centered on our friendship with God, Webb maintained. What we do today ensures that friendship for tomorrow and for all of eternity. But dont look at heaven as the ultimate goal of life, he said. "Eternal life begins now, here on Earth."
Our friendship with God wont ever be perfect but, instead of hiding from him, we should just enjoy his mercies and allow God to continue to constantly pour more into our lives. Adam and Eve hid from God, Webb noted, and "we have been hiding from him ever since."
The way to an intimate friendship with God is through Jesus Christ, he said, adding that the goal of our lives should be to be like Jesus.
Cox shared a story about when he was in seminary. He lived on the second floor of a building and below him was a family that had two little boys who were extremely active. One day, Cox and his roommate took the children out for ice cream and to the park. When they got back and were talking about all they did that day, the 3-year-old looked up at Cox and asked, "Are you Jesus?"
Through this situation, Cox realized "I wasnt just being called into youth ministry but was also being called to be like Jesus."
"You are created for friendship with God," Webb reminded his listeners. "We can do this by encouraging one another to do the same. And know that God longs for this relationship with you more than you do."
Ariel Shuey, public relations, 2/10/11