I want to love Jesus!

I want to love Jesus!

One with Him
Loving Jesus!

I have recently been contacted by at least five or six different people pleading for prayers and/or for instruction on how to love Jesus.  Since there has been such a sudden and intense expression of this desire, I have prayerfully decided to address this topic in this update.   First, we have to establish one fact: love is not merely a feeling.  Love is a choice.  Certainly feelings are part of love, but I believe many of us mistake one for the other.  It is possible to “feel” as though we love, yet really not have the genuine article at all.  Let’s go to the Bible for some examples.
2 Samuel 13:1-15: Here we find the story of Absalom and Tamar.  Absalom was one of King David’s sons, and he thought he loved his sister Tamar.  As the story goes, he finally ended up raping her, and immediately hated her.  Was this really love?  Absolutely not!  Here is an example of “feeling” in love, but it is base selfishness instead.   This reminds me of the passage in Jeremiah 17:9, where the Lord warns us that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it?”  So, it is possible to think we love someone, when our real motives are for self-interest.
Of course, the very first example in the Bible of love gone wrong is in the very first chapters of Genesis.  The love gone wrong was not only between Adam and Eve, but as we will begin to discover, was wrong also between mankind and our Maker!  Genesis 3:1-10.  Eve, of course, was deceived by the serpent, whom we know was the devil, then as a result ate the forbidden fruit herself and then took it to Adam, who chose to partake as well.  Follow this inspiring narrative of the story carefully:
“Adam regretted that Eve had left his side, but now the deed was done.  He must be separated from her whose society he had loved so well.  How could he have it thus?  His love for Eve was strong. And in utter discouragement he resolved to share her fate.  He reasoned that Eve was a part of himself, and if she must die, he would die with her, for he could not bear the thought of separation from her.  He lacked faith in his merciful and benevolent Creator.  He did not think that God, Who had formed him out of the dust of the ground into a living, beautiful form, and had created Eve to be his companion, could supply her place.  After all, might not the words of this wise serpent be correct?  Eve was before him, just as lovely and beautiful, and apparently as innocent, as before this act of disobedience.  She expressed greater, higher love for him than before her disobedience, as the effects of the fruit she had eaten.  He saw in her no signs of death.  She had told him of the happy influence of the fruit, of her ardent love for him, and he decided to brave the consequences.  He seized the fruit and quickly ate it, and like Eve, felt not immediately its ill effects.”  {Story of Redemption 36.2}
This paragraph introduces powerful motives of action, but they are not true, pure motives!  How do we know?  Again, we must go to the Bible to find out.  Both Eve and subsequently, Adam disobeyed the direct command of God, which was a test of their love for and loyalty to God.  What does Jesus say about love and obedience?  John 14:15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”  So, here we see both the true motive for obedience and the results of true love!  Love and you will obey!  Truly obey and it shows your love!
Note the effect of this disobedience upon God, for herein lies one of the deepest motives to love Him.  Genesis 3:9  “And the LORD God called to Adam, and said to him, Where are you?”  He comes looking for Adam and Eve to walk and talk and fellowship with them as He always has.  But they are afraid!  Afraid of the God of Heaven Who formed them with His Own hands!  How His heart must have been broken, and how it must be breaking still.  Why?  Because the Bible says that sin separates.  Read it in Isaiah 59:2:  “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid [His] face from you, that He will not hear.”  God longs to be with us, but since He is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29, and the context is clear that God consumes sin), if God should come to fellowship with us, and we are contaminated with sin, it would consume us.  His very presence would kill us!  So His deep love for us keeps a distance until we allow Him to remove sin from us.  We see this in 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”  And according to Hebrews 6:6, every sin wounds Him all over again.
Friends, the motive to love Him is to see the depth of His love for you.  Sin acts as a short circuit to loving God because the very nature of sin is to drive God away!  We become afraid, just as Adam and Eve did in the beginning.  History is scattered with the tales of broken lives desperate to escape from the vengeful God of their imaginations.  God is not that way!  The same God Who came looking for Adam and Eve in the beginning is still looking for you and me!  He still wants fellowship.
Going back to the opening paragraph, love is a choice.  Maybe that sounds a little bit sterile, so again, let’s go to the Bible.  In Psalm 18:1, after the Lord had delivered David from King Saul’s wrath, David fervently states: “…I will love Thee, O LORD, my strength.”  David says, “…I WILL love Thee….”  That is the same as saying I choose to love Thee!  God has commanded us to love Him.  But many of us find it all but impossible.  We become frustrated in our efforts and lack of understanding.   Perhaps we are looking for some sort of feeling or deep emotion.  God has not left us without help!   Look at this precious promise: “…the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”  Romans 5:5  God promises to enable us to love Him, if we cooperate with Him.  And that is the bottom line to loving Jesus.  His Word plainly states, “But whoever keeps His Word, in him truly is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him.” 1 John 2:5
In conclusion, many are troubled that they don’t have a deep feeling of love for Jesus.  As we go to the Bible with prayer and begin to understand what God is really like and how much He loves us, in spite of our sin; as we see His willingness and power to change us, love springs up in the heart.  Friends, this is how it is happening with me.  The more I see of my need of Jesus, of the wickedness and sinfulness of my heart, as I choose to follow what He shows me in His Word, love springs up in my heart, and He is changing me.  What I once could not understand, I now am understanding.  Where I once could not overcome, I am overcoming.  Where once I did not love Jesus, I am loving Him!  I am becoming a new person!  And….I am loving Him more and more!  This is also what happened to the apostle Peter when he had denied the Lord.  The realization that Jesus still loved him, in spite of the pain he had caused to his Lord, broke the heart of the proud disciple.  He became a humble and obedient man who now loved His Lord more than himself.  This is what happened to the apostle Paul!  Blinded so that he might see himself and see God, he comprehended his guilt and the great love of God as shown in Jesus Christ.  His life took a 180 degree turn.  This is what happened with Mary Magdelene!  She saw her utter guilt and depravity and the depth of the forgiving love of Jesus in the face of her despair, and she became a new woman.  Truly see yourself, your need, and truly see His love for you in the face of your sinfulness, and love springs up in the heart.  Love begets love.
I ran across this song by Anja Schraal on youtube one day while listening to some songs by Darrol Sawyer.  It has been a real blessing to me, and I think if  you will listen carefully to the words, you will find a prayer you can pray as you seek to love Jesus!   May the Lord fulfill in all of us the promise found in Zechariah 12:10!

4 thoughts on “I want to love Jesus!

  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I think of Adams response in contrast to that of Abrahams. Abrahams love and trust in God was shown in his obedience to the command to offer up “your only son”. He trusted God would provide,”Jehovah-jireh.” Enjoyed the song as well, it says it all. I too, want to know this Love.

  2. The Desire Of Ages by Ellen G. White is my favorite, bisedes the Bible. She writes so that you feel like you are standing right there beside Jesus as He is ministering to others. Mel Gibson read the book when He made the movie, The Passion. When I read the book, I come away with a desire to be used to minister to others. I love that each chapter tells me where I can follow each story from the gospels in the Bible. The last page or two of each chapter is like a message for me. It is an awesome book. You have a great opportunity to meet Jesus in the pages, and fall in love with Him. The book begins with His birth and ends after His resurrection. I have my book all underlined as it is so powerful to my heart.

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