It is officially February. Love is in the air, or at least it is in evey big box store from here to Timbuktu. You don’t have to go very far to see hearts, candies, balloons, and various other tokens of affection vividly displayed for all to witness. It is the time of year when sweethearts the world round go that extra mile to make sure their significant other really, truly, and completely understands how important they are.
According to statistics, Americans spent 18.6 billion dollars on Valentine’s day gifts in 2013. I guess the old adage “love ain’t cheap” is extremely accurate. Why would people go to such lengths and spend so much of their hard earned money on someone else? The obvious answer is when we love someone, we want to make sure they know it. Even more than that, we want our love to be evident to the entire world. It is as simple as this, if a relationship is important to us, we will invest all that we have in that relationship.
As Christians, we are in a relationship with our heavenly Father and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ . Like any relationship, in order to reap the available benefits, we must invest our attention, time, and money. In other words, we must surrender our entire being. Jesus Himself told us how He and the entire world would know that we love Him.
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
“IF” we love Jesus we will
1. Listen to Him
When we really love someone, we want to hear what they have to say. In fact, we usually hang on their every word. Their words are valuable to us because in them we find refuge,joy,peace and comfort. Jesus said,
“My sheep listen to my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.”
How do we listen to the words of Jesus, today? There is only way. We MUST immerse ourself into the written word, The Holy Bible. What does it say about our level of commitment to our relationship with the Great Shepherd, if we ignore what he has to say on a daily basis? If the only time you ever listened to your loved ones was on Sunday morning, how would those relationships hold up? In order to know His voice, to recognize it above the voice of any other, and to love its sweet sound, we must listen to Him each and every day.
2. Talk to Him
How many times during the day do you keep mental notes of all the things you want to say to your sweetheart? When we love someone we feel the need to communicate with them as often as possible. We want to thank them for the wonderful things they do, ask them to help us in ways only they can, and share our troubles so they can help bear our load. How do we talk to God? We communicate to the Father through the Son in prayer.
“Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.”
God desires our prayers. In fact He has promised
“And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you;
seek, and you will find;
knock, and it will be opened to you.”
If you did not speak to those that you love over extended periods of time, how would that affect your relationship. What if you only talked to them when you wanted something and never thanked them for what they had already given you? We MUST speak to God on a daily basis.
1 Thess. 5:17
“Pray without ceasing,”
If we love Him, we will never fail to talk to Him each and every day.
3. Spend Time With Him
If we are in love, we want to spend every waking hour together. If we are really in love, NOTHING or NO ONE will keep us apart. Ballgames, work, hobbies, lack of rest, lack of time, or long distances will not seperate you from the one that you love. They are the number one priority in your life, and rightfully so. Jesus said,
“For where two or three are gathered in my name,
there am I among them.”
We are given the charge of
“not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,
as is the manner of some,
but exhorting one another,
and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Our love of the Savior is visibly evident in our attitude toward His church. If we love Him, we will undoubtedly make meeting with His church our top priority. After all, He is there. If we love Him, we will be there, too.
4. Proclaim Our Love for Him
If you love someone, you will shout it from the rooftops! You want the world to know just how fabulous your loved one really is. You could not keep your feelings for them a secret if you tried because they are awesome. You want to share the wealth of the happiness they have given you with others around you. If we love Jesus, we will tell others. We will not hide our joy.
“Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!”
If we love Jesus, we will make sure others know the good news.
And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved,
but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
If we love Jesus, we will want others to love Him, too.
Any relationship requires attentiveness and precedence. If neglected, it will never yield the blessings it is possible of giving. So many people say they love Jesus but their inaction speaks volumes.
“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”
― Elie Wiesel
Our indifference toward Jesus may be the difference between life and death? Do you love Him?