Last time (see “Do We Love Him?”), we began to contemplate whether the love we have for Christ is genuine. Because of the importance of this topic, we’re going to continue thinking about it today. Jesus said many would come to Him thinking they know Him, but in fact do not (Matthew 7:22-23). So many are deceived by the “easy believism” and faith without consequences teachings of our day that Hell awaits a multitude of people who think they are in Christ but will find out He never knew them.
It’s why this subject is of vital importance, one we do well to consider with great soberness. Nothing is more important than your relationship with Jesus. We do not know Him if we do not love Him, and we know to love Him means we must keep His commands (John 14:15).
We can sum up the commands of Jesus by looking at what Christ declared to be the two most important commands: love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:28-30), and love everyone as much as you love yourself (Mark 12:31). And we love ourselves a lot! We think about ourselves more than we think about anyone or anything else. From the moment our eyes open in the morning until we close them at night, our thoughts are constantly on ourselves. It’s obsessive and harmful to our souls.
Right off the bat, it seems we fail miserably at the love test. We don’t love others as much as we love ourselves. Imagine if you constantly thought about how you could help and serve your family, friends, neighbors, and even strangers. Do you think people might notice you are different from the world? Do you think they would want what you have?
When we live like Jesus, we will compel others to come to Him. When they ask us what makes us different, we then have the opportunity to obey another of Christ’s commands: to take His gospel to the ends of the earth (Matthew 28:18-20). We get to share Jesus with another soul heading for Hell. We cannot choose to shy away. It might be the only chance they ever have to hear about Christ, and as His followers, we must keep His commands. We must share Jesus.
We certainly do no better with the greatest command. Can you say you love Jesus with all your heart? Is He the only thing you hold dear? The Lord said our love for Him must be so great that our love for anyone else will look like hate in comparison (Luke 14:26). Do you love Him with all your mind? Is every thought centered on Jesus or flitting between political turmoil, social obligations, and sinful desires?
Things aren’t looking good. If we love Jesus, we must keep His commands. Yet I think it’s clear we are failing miserably at keeping the two most important ones. Are we doomed? Is there any hope? If we don’t allow Christ to do a regenerating work in our lives, then we will indeed be doomed. But we have this hope: Jesus! He knows what we desire to do, even when we can’t seem to get it done. He longs for us to come to Him and to know Him fully.
There is still much more to say, but let’s wrap up today by recognizing if we love Jesus we must keep His commands. And let’s acknowledge we aren’t keeping those commands. We can shrug and hope things get better, but they won’t. Or we can get serious about our faith and love Jesus in word and deed. Ask God to help you keep His commands and His Holy Spirit will enable you to make the needed changes. We have no hope without Jesus. We have no hope unless we love Him. Our priorities and the way we live will reveal whether or not our love for Him is genuine.