Please think very carefully before you answer this question. Are you sure that you really love Jesus? About a year ago, I was in worship and praising God. I remember singing to Jesus “I love You, I love You, I’m deep in love with You”, but the kind of response I got from Him had me flabbergasted. He laughed and said “Gerald, you think you love Me, but you do not have a clue what it is to love Me.” So I asked Him to help me to love Him and He has been doing a work in me ever since. I consider myself to be a work in progress, with a great deal more to be done.
Jesus also directed me to His word in John 14:23-24:
“Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.'”
Because I love Him, I now had a desire to obey His teachings.
So in order to find out what his teachings were, I began to delve deeper into the Bible.
In the Gospel of Matthew chapter 5, Jesus was teaching the crowds on the mountainside and He said to them:
Matthew 5:17-20: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
We are most likely familiar with the Ten Commandments, which are as follows:
- ‘You shall have no other gods before Me.’
- ‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image–any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.’
- ‘You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.’
- ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.’
- ‘Honor your father and your mother.’
- ‘You shall not murder.’
- ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
- ‘You shall not steal.’
- ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.’
- ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.’
However, there were some 613 commandments that were given to the Israelites. The ultimate purpose of the Law for ancient Israel was to teach them how to be holy, as God is holy. Jesus Himself, distinguished between the Ten Commandments.
The first four of the Ten Commandments directs us to love God; the latter six directs us to love our neighbor.
Matthew 22:34-40: “Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
If you thought the law was tough, read the whole of Matthew Chapter 5.
Jesus goes on to teach the people things like:- love your enemies, be glad when you are persecuted, show mercy, do not be angry or hate, forgive everyone who does you wrong, lusting is equivalent to adultery and much more that you and I would think is too difficult to live by.
Again, I ask you this question: Are you sure that you really love Jesus? I know I want to love Him, and as difficult as it may seem to obey Jesus’ teaching, I am a new creature in Christ and He will give me the strength to overcome my weaknesses. It’s almost three years since I gave my life to Jesus and I love Him more today than I ever did before. Every day, I learn to love Him a little more and more. If you love someone, you will want to know everything about that person, right? The best way to get to know Jesus, is by reading His word, the Bible.
He will direct you to where you need to go, just ask Him to help you.
Lord, help us today not to just say we love You and then do the things contrary to your Word. Help us to obey your teachings, as your Word says, obedience is better than sacrifice. Let us not be religious by trying to do rituals to please You, but help us to have a personal relationship with You, where we would seek to know more about You and to do your will on this earth. Father, help us to love you above all things and to love our neighbors as ourselves. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
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