This weekend I listened to a lot of Christian music on my iTunes while working at my computer and it seemed as though a theme kept coming out in the songs I heard. It was as though God was trying to get my attention about something because the songs were being shuffled in random order.
Obviously He was and this message is primarily for men but ladies I imagine you can relate to this in your own relationship with Jesus or help your husbands in their relationships with the Lord.
I want to begin by asking the men reading this if you are in love with Jesus.
I didnâ€™t ask you if you love Jesus. I know that you do.
Are you in love with Jesus?
Is your love for Jesus greater than your love for your wife and children?
What do I mean by being in love with Jesus?
First, let me acknowledge that this concept once caused confusion for me as a man. How can a man be in love with another manâ€¦even if He is the Son of Man?
This concept is foreign to the human mind because we fall in love with a woman and if we are compatible we eventually marry this woman.
The issue for most men being in love with Jesus is we too often think of it in a romantic context, and even though it is spiritually, we as non-believers or new believers cannot grasp this profound spiritual concept? Why? It is because we are spiritual babies on milk and this is meat.
â€œAnd I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not ableâ€¦â€ (1 Corinthians 3:1-2)
You see it is our carnal mind that causes us as men to look at being in love with Jesus as almostâ€¦I’ll go ahead and say itâ€¦weird.
It is weird to the carnal mind; it is foreign to our minds. That is why Paul said we needed to have our minds renewed:
â€œI beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.â€ (Romans 12:1-2)
You have to allow the Holy Spirit to change your mind about the way you look at things spiritually. Our carnal mind is a sign of our being conformed to this world. You are not going to fall in love with Jesus if you still have a carnal mind. It is with the renewed mind that you test Godâ€™s good, acceptable, and perfect will. And Godâ€™s will for our lives is that we be in love with Jesus.
Let me take you back to a scene on the shores of the Sea of Tiberias. Peter and six other disciples are fishing. Jesus calls out to them about their catch. Here letâ€™s have a look:
â€œAfter these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and in this way He showed Himself: Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, â€˜I am going fishing.â€™ They said to him, â€˜We are going with you also.â€™ They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Then Jesus said to them, â€˜Children, have you any food?â€™ They answered Him, â€˜No.â€™ And He said to them, â€˜Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.â€™ So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, â€˜It is the Lord!â€™ Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea.â€ (John 21:1-7)
How is it that John recognized Jesus but Peter did not? John was in love with Jesus. Peter was about to fall in love with Jesus.
Peter swims to shore and the rest of the disciples come ashore to find breakfast prepared by the Lord. Jesusâ€™ supplying a bountiful catch and a humble breakfast is food for another devotional or book for that matter. But for now, let us see how Peter falls in love with Jesus.
After breakfast Jesus asks Peter three questions. I wonder if Peter, while eating his breakfast, once looked at his Messiahâ€¦the One he had denied three times.
â€œSo when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, â€˜Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?â€™ He said to Him, â€˜Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.â€™ He said to him, â€˜Feed My lambs.â€™ He said to him again a second time, â€˜Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?â€™ He said to Him, â€˜Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.â€™ He said to him, â€˜Tend My sheep.â€™ He said to him the third time, â€˜Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?â€™ Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, â€˜Do you love Me?â€™ And he said to Him, â€˜Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.â€™ Jesus said to him, â€˜Feed My sheep.â€™â€ (John 21:15-17)
Much as been written about this passage and the different terms for â€œloveâ€ that is used in this passage, but I want to share something with you that our old friend Matthew Henry wrote concerning this passage because it lends to our theme of our need to be in love with Jesus and what keeps us from that.
â€œOur Lord addressed Peter by his original name, as if he had forfeited that of Peter through his denying Him. He now answered, Thou knowest that I love thee; but without professing to love Jesus more than others. We must not be surprised to have our sincerity called into question, when we ourselves have done that which makes it doubtful. Every remembrance of past sins, even pardoned sins, renews the sorrow of a true penitent. Conscious of integrity, Peter solemnly appealed to Christ, as knowing all things, even the secrets of his heart. It is well when our falls and mistakes make us more humble and watchful. The sincerity of our love to God must be brought to the test; and it behooves us to inquire with earnest, preserving prayer to the heart-searching God, to examine and prove us, whether we are able to stand this test. No one can be qualified to feed the sheep and lambs of Christ, who does not love the Good Shepherd more than any earthly advantage or object. It is the great concern of every good man, whatever death he dies, to glorify God in it; for what is our chief end but this, to die to the Lord at the word of the Lord?â€
My beloved brothers in Christ (and sisters) it comes down to your sincerity. Do you love Jesus more than your spouseâ€¦your childrenâ€¦your jobâ€¦your houseâ€¦your car?
Do you love Him more?
You can never fall in love with Him if you do not love Him more.
Imagine not loving your spouse more than any earthly thing besides Jesus? Would he or she feel secure in this relationship?
Do you feel secure in your relationship with Jesus? Oh, not because of His lacking love for youâ€¦quite the contrary.
Are you in love with the Lord Jesus Christ?
What is it in your life causing you to deny Jesus most likely far more than three times?
Have you as a true penitent become more humble and watchful?
Have you allowed God to test your sincerity of your love for His Son?
If not I pray you do so right now.
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Copyright Â© 2010 David Jeffers