By Karen Friday
Do you love Jesus? If you’re like me, you answered with a hearty nod and enthusiastic, “Yes!” But what about staying in love with Jesus?
Just as love is a choice and a verb in your marriage; staying in love with Jesus is an intentional decision.
You decide to pursue Christ with a passion and stoke the fire of your love for him.
Staying in Love with Jesus
The words I love you, Jesus! rise in my heart and roll off my tongue more often these days. Why?
Maybe I’m tired of surface substitutes for real love. Perhaps I’ve grown weary of this: what God made true about love, people made fake. I believe Christ is teaching me about an authentic and lasting love.
Jesus continues to teach me about a jealous and zealous love for him.
Can you fall in love with Christ and stay in love with him—pure and whole-hearted affection? Not only is this kind of love relationship possible, but it’s what the Lord intended all along.
Also, this kind of deep-seated love is a show-and-tell affection.
How to experience this love relationship is found in the answers to these two questions.
Love Jesus With Your All
What’s the greatest commandment?
This question was posed to Christ: “And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-39 ESV (emphasis added)
Dictionary.com defines heart as “The center of total personality, especially with reference to intuition, feeling, or emotion.”
Merriam-Webster explains soul as “A person’s moral or emotional nature or sense of identity. The spiritual part of a human being.”
Google tells us the mind is “The element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences, to think, and to feel; the faculty of consciousness and thought. A person’s mental processes, intellect.”
So, every part of you—your whole being—loves Jesus. You love him with your heart and emotions, through your spiritual identity, and in your mind and experiences. That’s the greatest commandment and the greatest love.
Remember Jesus First Loved You
Where did love originate?
As 1 John 4:19 ESV says, “We love because he first loved us.”
God created love and demonstrated love on Calvary’s cross through His Son—a show-and-tell affection.
Jesus loved you so much, he died for you. Yet your motivation for falling in love with Jesus is not out of a sense of guilt as though you owe it to him. Or even loving Christ for what he can do for you.
But since Jesus loves you, you reciprocate. Because his love is unconditional, it draws your heart in and strengthens your affections toward him. This higher and deeper love surpasses love from people—even those who love you well.
How to Stay in Love With Jesus
To fall in love with Jesus and stay in love with him means you give all of yourself to him alone, not to the idols or shiny gods of this world.
Falling in love with Christ and staying in love with him isn’t radical Christianity or even a Jesus freak. It’s the heart of a true disciple.
Do you love Christ more than anyone or anything?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me first and sending your Son to die for me. Help me to keep falling in love with Jesus over and over every day, and to stay in love with him. I pray loving Christ is a show-and-tell affection where I not only tell Him of my love, but I also love him with all of my heart, soul, and mind. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
Wife Step: Write down the three words used in Matthew 22: heart, soul, and mind. Look back at the definitions for each, then start a list of how to stay in love with Jesus in these areas.
Want to learn how to read the Bible? Read here!
Karen Friday is a pastor’s wife and women’s ministry leader. A blogger, Karen “Girl” Friday engages a community every week, Hope is Among Us. She has published a number of articles and devotions in both print and online media, and is currently working on her first book. Vulnerable about her own marriage journey, Karen knows life never gets more real than as a wife. Karen and her husband Mike have two grown children and two grandchildren. The entire family is fond of the expression, “TGIF: Thank God it’s Friday.” They owe Monday an apology. Visit her blog at KarenGirlFriday.com