Lovest Thou Me?
A familiar passage of Scripture is John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” In other words, when we believed upon Jesus as our Lord, we were given the life and nature of God. We stand in awe of such a Love that would give His only Son to become our sin and then take the punishment for it so that we could be free. All we had to do was accept this Son, Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior; and we could experience the new birth. We became a new creation; born of love receiving His love nature (2 Cor. 5:17). We even read in 1 John 4:19, “We love Him because He first loved us.” Receiving the Spirit of God in the new birth gave us the ability to love our Lord and to love others.
Exodus 20 presents The Ten Great Commandments. We read in Mark 12:30&31, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” Jesus knew that if we would obey these two commandments of love, we would obey The Ten Commandments. We are commanded to love the Lord with our everything. He went so far to say that, “If ye love Me, keep My commandments.” He would never instruct us to do something that we do not have the ability to do. We are to strive to be “doers” of God’s Word (Jms. 1:22) and obedient to His direction for our lives. Yes, there will be times that we are disobedient to the Lord’s leading. We read in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Jesus said in Matthew 10:37&38, “He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me.” These are very serious statements made by our Lord. We could even say, “If we love anyone or anything more than Jesus, we are not worthy of Him.” Do we allow family, work, hobbies, or other excuses to hinder us in serving the Lord? If we have, these have become our god. May we repent; return to our first Love, Jesus Christ; and love Him again with our everything. Again, Jesus said that we are not worthy of Him if we do not take His cross and follow Him. There are times that we may want our way so badly when we know that it opposes God’s will for us. This is when we have to “die” to our own desires. It becomes our cross. Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ …” (Gal. 2:20). Even Paul chose to take his cross and follow the Lord.
Jesus asked Peter, “…lovest thou Me more than these?” How would you answer Jesus if He asked you this question? My prayer for you is that if there is anything that occupies your time, your love more than Christ, you will repent and turn away from it. You have the ability by the Holy Spirit, if you are born again, to turn away from anything that has become more important than your service to Christ. Obviously, we do not turn away from our families or our jobs, but they are never supposed to be placed before your love for the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!