Let me explain where this post has come from, in my heart. Starfield. Great band, some great songs. So I was on the bus on the way to work earlier in the week when their song ‘Absolutely’ came onto my playlist. It’s not a song of theirs I have often listened to, but as I listened one of the lines in the chorus stopped my heart dead in its tracks:
Jesus, You have me completely
Every breath that I breathe
I am absolutely in love
It got me thinking. Am I, this busy twenty-something, ABSOLUTELY in love with Jesus? The honest answer from my heart is no, and I am not proud to admit that. The truth of the matter is that my heart aches to be totally, desperately, uncontrollably, absolutely in love with Jesus; yet if I’m honest my hearts not there yet.
As a Christian community I think we throw the words ‘I love Jesus’ around a lot but do many of us ever stop to really think about what it is to love God? Think about your own church, your own youth group, your own prayers. How often do you end your prayers with an absent-minded ‘I love you Jesus’. How often is the interlude in a group prayer ‘We love you Jesus’. I challenge you to challenge your own hearts by asking, how often do I really consider what it means to be in love with Jesus. To be IN love with Jesus.
Please don’t get me wrong, I love Jesus, I do. Jesus has saved my life and continues to bless me so richly, but I want more. I want my love for Jesus to consume me. I want my heart to be so full of love for Jesus that it is fit to burst. I want to feel like I need to shout it from the roof tops. As I write this blog, I can feel my heart filling with love already and I am so praising God for challenging me to love Him harder.
All of this prompted me to search in the bible for what it really means to love Jesus. I want to share with you what I found, briefly though cause I really feel like this is not a theological question to answer, rather than an issue to be addressed through examining our own hearts in an honest manner and seeking to change our hearts.
Matthew 22 tells us that the greatest commandment is to ‘love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind’. One thing I never though about this verse was the separate entities of heart/soul/mind. To me, the mind is a very conscious thing. To be ‘mindful’ of something to be very conscious of it. Therefore, we must be mindful of our love for Jesus – we must choose to love Him, we must choose to be overcome with love for Him.
When dealing with love of the heart, I am reminded once again to come back to the song which prompted this entire thought process in my head. The lyrics read;
No one is as lovely as You are
And there is no one else
Who has my heart
This made me think of my relationship with my soon-to-be husband. Do I give him my heart before I give my heart to Jesus? This really challenged me, placing Jesus above each other as a priority is something that, if I’m honest, I don’t think we’ve been very good at. It’s something I want to improve – and I call you all to challenge yourselves – who gets your heart first? Do you love Jesus as actively and deeply as you do your partner? This is something I’m still committing to prayer – I seek to need Jesus more than I need the embrace of my fiancé after a hard day.
Jesus replied; ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.
My Father will love them and we will come to them
and make our home with them.
Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching.
These words you hear are not my own; they belong to my Father who sent me’.
Loving Jesus is not a feeling – it is action. It is living everyday for Him. It is obeying His commandments, it is loving His people and it is placing Him above everything and everyone. It is setting your eyes on the Father’s heart and not looking left or right.
My prayer tonight;
Thank you Jesus for loving me. Thank you for loving me, bound by the chains of the world, battered, broken, bruised. Thank you for saving me. Help me to love you more everyday. Help me to become ABSOLUTELY in love with you.
I invite you to join in with this prayer. I’ll admit it was not easy to come to the conclusion that I feel I don’t love God like I should, I feel great shame. Loving God is not as easy as proclaiming it at church. It is living it everyday.
“My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home,
And the swallow a nest for herself where she may lay her young—
Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts,
My King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in Your house.”