You can always tell when someone is in love. You can see it in their expressions, mannerisms, and actions. The reason this happens is because love is not a concept but an action. Love is not merely an emotion but is something that is expressed in the way that we live and see the world. Just as you can tell when a couple is in love, I believe the same is true about someone who passionately loves Jesus.
In Matthew 22, Jesus says that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind. So the most important thing as a Christian is that we would love Christ with all that we are. As I think through the commandment to love the Lord, it causes me to ask this question, “What does a life that passionately loves Jesus look like?” I believe that Scripture lays out several characteristics of a life that passionately loves Jesus. As I list three characteristics, I use the word striving to indicate that this is a life that is directed toward and striving after this type of life.
1) A life that is striving to know God’s love
“We love because He first loved us.” -1 John 4:19
Our love to the Lord is always a response to Him first loving us. A life that loves the Lord is a life that has been changed by the love of God and is still being changed by it. It starts with salvation but doesn’t stop there. The more I come to know and understand the greatness of God and how amazing His love is, the more it enables me to love Him in return. As I was thinking through this truth, I think there are two things that we can do daily to increase our love for the Lord.
-Spend time in Prayer: I believe the more time we spend in His presence, the more we will love Him.
-Get into the Word: I believe the more time we spend in God’s word, the more we will love Him.
2) A life that is striving to love people
“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” -1 John 4:20-21
It is impossible for someone who has been changed by the love of God to not love people. John says this would be a contradiction. A life that passionately loves Jesus is a life that is striving to love people. However, this can be hard, because when Jesus calls us to love people, He didn’t just mean people that we like. He was talking about all people. It means people that are different than us, people that have hurt us, people that have persecuted us. This kind of love can only come from a life that has been changed by Christ. So today, look for an opportunity to love someone, share your story of how Jesus has changed you, or forgive someone.
3) A life that is striving to obey the Lord
“Whoever says ‘I know Him’ but does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps His word, in him truly the love of God is perfected” -1 John 2:4-5
Another contradiction is a life that says, “I love Jesus but I don’t really want to obey Him.” A life that loves Jesus, is a life that is striving to obey Him. This convicts me because many times I read the word but never ask the question, “How do I implement this truth in my life?” As believers, we must be people that not only hears the word but also walks in it! My prayer is that you and I would be people that would say YES to Jesus. Whatever, Whenever, However. That our answer would be yes to Him!
I pray that the Lord would increase our love for Him so that we can glorify Him in Monroe and to the ends of the earth.