Do you love me?

May 30, 2010

When my wife and I were newly married, we were advised to occasionally evaluate our relationship. Asking the questions, “How are we doing?” and “How can I love you more?” are great ways of doing so.

I’ve been doing the same lately in my times of prayer with God. I’ve been asking, “Jesus, do I really love you? How can I love you more?”

I think there are several reasons for doing so. We see several examples in Scripture of those whose love grew cold. I think of the Ephesian church in the book of Revelation, a church which had a reputation for being alive and did all sorts of good things, but had lost their first love. In other words, they looked good outwardly, but inwardly had forgotten what it was all about.

I think also of the parable of the soils, particularly of the third soil. These plants were growing, were beginning to form fruit, but were choked by thorns–the worries of this life, the pleasure of the world, the desire for other things. Personally, these three areas are by far the biggest dangers to my love for the Lord. Is anything choking out that love?

Then, there’s those who think they love the Lord, but who really just love the benefits that he affords. They serve him to get the praise of men, respect and reputation, a profitable occupation.

So, do I really love Jesus? How can my love for him grow? 1 John is helpful here, saying “We love him, because he first loved us.” This verse, I think, is not just saying that we begin to love Jesus but continue loving him because of his love. In other words, his love initiates and establishes the grounds for our love, and then continues to fuel it. So then, as I reflect on his great love, my love will be nourished. This great savior died for me, will never leave me, wants to spend the rest of eternity with me, and has lavished on me all of his very best. Yes, as I reflect and worship and praise him for such a love, I find my own love increasing.

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