“I love Jesus.”


A friend gave me a book, The Pietist Option, which talks about living the Christian life in a way that engages the heart as well as the head.  The authors observe that some Christians “treated faith as a noun with which one agreed … “ but it is a “verb, a way of being which was a necessary outworking of both intellectual and emotional assent to the claim that Jesus is Savior.”  More simply said – Christianity is not just a doctrinal statement that I believe, it is a relationship with God, through Jesus Christ. Yes, I love Jesus.

I said that “I love Jesus” to a man who is able to make fine theological arguments for the key Christian doctrines and his response was somewhat dismissive.  He, though orthodox in his faith, thinks that ‘loving Jesus’ is a romantic notion, a childish idea that needs to be outgrown. Though he is mistaken, I understand his concern. There are many Christians (perhaps too many?) who are content to remain ignorant of Scripture, incapable of thinking about hard questions of faith, who refuse to deal with the commands of Jesus, while fervently insisting “I love Jesus.”  I do not question their sincerity, but I would ask, how has that professed love changed your life?

Jesus is clear about the connection of love with obedience. “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23, NIV)  He spoke of His own life as an example. He was about to go to the Cross in obedience to the Father’s will, because “the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.” (John 14:31, NIV)

We would scoff at a person who professed to love us but never spent any time with us, never really shared their thoughts with us, never offered us any kind of real support; right?  Human love involves more than words. It must be demonstrated in fidelity and affection.  It is tragic when a marriage becomes nothing more than a contract between two persons!  The paper says “married,” which is legally factual. Joy can only be found when, in addition to the signatures on the paper, there are acts of affection.

  • Does your Christianity include a desire to really know God, or are you content to know things about Him?
  • Do you hunger to experience His Presence?  We absolutely can. He is not ‘out there somewhere,’ He is near us, known to us by the Spirit.
  • Is your worship only a dutiful attendance to prayers, church attendance, learning of a creed? Those are admirable choices, but He invites us to something more.

 Yes, our worship can engage the heart. We can love Jesus as Friend and Brother!  Will we? Cultivating that relationship will require time, pursuit, being open and transparent before Him, giving up our Self for Him – yes, loving Him.

We need not replace doctrine with passion. We need both – to know the warmth of love in our hearts and the steadiness of truth understood with our minds.

As you read the word from the Word, allow yourself to feel the depth of John’s emotion. Ask God to take you beyond believing certain things about Him to be true, to lead you to loving Him – “with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength.”

“My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him.

This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God. My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!
” (1 John 4:7-12, The Message)


My Jesus I Love Thee
My Jesus I love Thee I know Thou art mine
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign
My gracious Redeemer my Savior art Thou
If ever I loved Thee my Jesus ’tis now

 I love Thee because Thou hast first loved me
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow
If ever I loved Thee my Jesus ’tis now

 I’ll love Thee in life I will love Thee in death
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath
And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow
If ever I loved Thee my Jesus ’tis now

In mansions of glory and endless delight
I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow
If ever I loved Thee my Jesus ’tis now

Adoniram Judson Gordon © Words: Public Domain


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