What self-proclaiming Christian would say "no" to the question "Do You Love Jesus?" I would bet every Christian asked would say "yes" to this question. Jesus tells His disciples in John 14:21 that "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me." (NKJV) Yet, I wonder how many of us really love Jesus as He says we ought to.
Do you remember the story of Simon Peter and how He was asked by Jesus about his love for Him? Consider the following passage:
15So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
16He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
17He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
I wonder what Jesus would say to me in response to my feeble answers to His questions. Have you ever thought of that? Jesus is so patient with us. He asks us the same question and corrects our replies time and time again, just as He did with Simon Peter. Am I "feeding His sheep?" Do I love Him or just like Him?
Looking back at my reading this morning in the verse of John 14:21, I must conclude the following about loving Jesus:
1) To love Jesus, we must keep His commandments, not just get caught up in the emotions of a touching worship service or the warm fuzzy feeling we may get from doing our favorite ministry. We must do what Jesus commands, even if it isn't the funnest or easiest thing on our list.
2) To love Jesus by keeping His commandments, we must have His commandments. The only way to know them is to read them every day. Face it. There is too much to learn and remember from God's Word if we rely on our past memory or only get our learning from what we get from others.
So, as always, when I ask myself these questions, I'm asking you too, "How much do you love Jesus?" Only you and God know the answer to this one.