Do you love Jesus?
I ask this question with people that I know and strangers that I meet, because it is the core foundation of the gospel of Jesus Christ – and I’m amazed at the answers that I get.
“I’m the pastor/deacon/elder at blah blah blah…”
“I go to church at…”
“I read the Bible and pray every day…”
That’s not what I asked, friend. Do you love Jesus?
Rarely do I see that response of deep joy spring up and rejoice with “Yes, I love Jesus!” Rarely do I find someone eager to deny themselves, take up their cross, follow Jesus, give generously to the needy, love their enemies, and expect nothing from this life but the opportunity to serve Him until our days are through. Rarely do I find someone who wants to be used by the Lord to have His will done in our lives.
But far too often, I find a world that is interested in using the idea of Jesus and of religion and prayer to get what they want. Far too often I see a world that seeks to make God their slave and themselves the master – even in prayers as they name and claim all kinds of things for themselves as their portion instead of Jesus Christ being their portion and prize. I find so many selling their eternal soul for a bowl of soup – giving up the imperishable for more things that perish.
I find a world that has little interest in serving and loving God, but that wants to be served and loved by God. I find ac world that even when blessed by trusting in the Lord, is quickly distracted and falls into chasing after things and security and pleasure and honor amongst men instead of chasing only after God.
I find a world full of wolves that profit off of religion and the traditions of men, who make merchandise and slaves and followers of the very ones they are supposed to equip and send out. I find a world of kings who gather their flocks to be fleeced to advertise their name wide and far that is not the name above all names – instead of a world of servants gathering together to be fed and provided for and loved so they can go out and do the same to others.
I find so many eager to talk and be seen, but so few who want to walk and be clean.
What an evil and rebellious generation we live in, with people chasing after whoever will tell them whatever lies they want to hear – and so few actually seeking to find Jesus Christ in the Word of God, so few actually wanting to know Him personally and intimately, so few who want to love God more than self, so many that like the idea of Him as Savior but aren’t interested in the reality of Him as Lord.
Do you love Jesus?
Is He the love of your life?
Is He the steering wheel of your life instead of the spare tire?
And yes, I shine this light on myself daily and I am thankful for His grace when I fall short, but He loves us more than to leave us there.
Peter denied Christ too, but was restored from his disgrace, from his shame, from his letting down the Lord yet again – and He was restored to walk in his purpose and mission. It’s time that we step past religion and rise up as the true church, alive with his Holy Spirit alive and active in our lives. It’s time that we walked out our mission.
It’s time for us to love Jesus.
So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep. Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.” This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”
John 21:15-19 NKJV
So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ ”
Luke 10:27 NKJV