Loving Jesus (ATP)
How do you know you love Jesus? Many pastors liken it to wanting to serve Him and follow Him like we do when we first fall in love with our spouse. When we fall in love with our spouse for the first time, we’re all about them, but isn’t that a different kind of love then what God has for us and what he wants from us? Not a love based on emotions but on devotion and actions?
What a great question! Matthew 22:37 says, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.” Love is key to our walk with the Lord.
Let’s address first, the reason why many pastors often compare falling in love with Jesus to falling in love with our spouse. The Bible itself compares our relationship with Jesus to that of marriage. Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” The love of Christ is compared to the love of a godly husband. When we first get saved it is so exciting. We are entering into a brand new relationship and it feels good and all we want to do is embark on that relationship more and more. But, you hit the nail on the head when you said a real marriage with our spouse isn’t just based on emotion but on devotion and action. But just as in a marriage, that devotion and the actions that prove that devotion, should grow greater and greater as time goes on. That is likewise the way our relationship with Jesus should be. Deuteronomy 6:5 tells us, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” All we have should be first offered up to the Lord, all our love, and all our devotion.
Although our relationship with Jesus involves a different kind of intimacy than with our spouse, it should involve a great level of intimacy. If we never want to spend time with Jesus we have to question whether or not we really love him. If your spouse never wanted to talk to you, you would question whether or not they love you and you would be a fool not to. It’s very much the same. Notice in a good marriage there should be a balance between emotional feeling kind of love and real covenant devotion, despite our feelings. James 4:8a says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” Your relationship with Jesus will only be as good as your level of drawing near to Him.
Another key indicator of our love for the Lord is based in John 14:15, Which says, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” A true indicator of our love for Jesus is whether or not we are doers of His Word. He said love for Him is proven in that. If you have no interest in following His example, you really have no interest in Him. I love how A. W. Tozer puts this, “ The whole transaction of religious conversion has been made mechanical and spiritless. Faith may now be exercised without a jar to the moral life.” This really spoke to me. It seems many Christians come to God and pray the sinners prayer excepting Jesus well really only mentally assenting and never having a true heart conversion. Our whole moral compass will be changed when we truly love Jesus.
It’s not hard to check your spiritual pulse. Do I hunger for more of God? Does my heart want to please Him? When I hear the Word of truth, do I do my best to follow it? When I go to God do I only go to get? Or when I go to God do I only want to spend time with Him? Most Christians go through ups and downs as far as our excitement for the things of God goes, but we should work to quickly refocus our attention on Him. He’s always there as we draw near.