Since my conversion and subsequent experiencing the infilling of the Holy Spirit, my life and ministry have been focused on the glorious message of intimacy with God, the reality that God would have us know Him up close and personal. You know, I believe it breaks the heart of God when those who claim to love Him refuse to get close to Him. It breaks the heart of God when they refuse to receive what He longs to give, It breaks the heart of God when we deny Him access to certain areas of our lives. It breaks the heart of God when we would instead shake His hand than experience His embrace. You know? God’s gone to such great lengths to communicate His love and devotion to us, in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us, yet many stand at a distance rendering an occasional glance, wave, nod. But, they never venture close enough to feel His divine embrace. I cannot believe, I don’t think that God went to so graned a measure as that of the sacrificing of His only Son so that we might occasionally at a distance, acknowledge His goodness. He has called us into a covenantal love relationship whereby we become, in the words of Charles and John Wesley, “Lovers of God.”
The apostle John tells us in his gospel, chapter fourteen and verse fifteen, the words of Jesus, “If you love me, you will keep my commandment.” For John, love was not so much about sentiment and emotion but always moral and revealed in obedience. Emotions ebb and flow and love based solely on feeling have no chance of survival; likewise, sincere devotion will produce passion, a passion born out of yieldingness, not out of circumstances.
I’m sure we all know those who protest their love in words but who, at the same time, bring pain and heartbreak to those whom they claim to love! There are children and youth who say they love their parents, and yet cause them grief and anxiety because of rebellion. Some husbands and wives may say, “I love you” while creating enormous pain because of empty words.
To Jesus, real love is not an easy thing. It is shown only in faithful obedience. The haunting question that looms is, “Do we really love Jesus? Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” Another translation says, “If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you.”
What has Christ asked us to do? Take a moment and read Matthew 28: 19-20, and Matthew 5: 43-49, and Mark 12: 30-31, again the question “Do I really love Jesus?” Just look at what He did. Christ ate with sinners, embraced the lepers, healed the sick, feed the poor, and set the captive free. Wow! And He said in John fourteen and verse twelve, “‘Greater thing will you do then I have done.”
I love the song by the late Keith Green, “Jesus rose from the dead, and you can’t even get out of bed!” So, get up. Reveille has sound, and the World cannot wait! It’s time for the Church to rise up and be an assembly of those who love God!