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The Love Language of God; Loving God, God's Way

"The Love Language of God
 is the fullest treatise on the subject of love that I have ever observed. I believe it will become a recognized resource on the subject. " -Jack Taylor, Dimensions Ministries

Christianity is changing from being task-oriented "doing" to relationship-oriented "being"-becoming the equally yoked companion for the Son of God. A clear image of that loving relationship between Christ and His Bride, the Church, is presented in The Love Language of God for you-and all those who want a closer, more intimate relationship with the Savior. Don't let this intimate relationship with Jesus get lost in the everyday hubbub of life.

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Loving Jesus as Your Treasure PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 25 November 2015
Today, I want us to consider for a few minutes the relationship that exists between our love for God and our love for Jesus. First, we have to lay the foundation to be able to intelligently, and effectively understand the importance of the questions, and especially of the answer.

There are two foundational commands (or invitations) recorded for our benefit in the Gospels. We are all probably aware of Jesus’ answer when He was asked the question: “What is the first and great commandment?”

Listen carefully to His reply: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment” (Mt. 22:37-38). Dr. Luke adds: And strength. So the Gospel, according to Jesus Himself, is that the most important question that we can ever ask, the most important thing in all of our life is: do we love God with all of our heart and all that you are and have – that is Jesus’ greatest and first priority for our lives.

Then, let’s look at Matthew 10:37, where Jesus adds, “Whoever loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me,” Jesus says. “Whoever loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me”. Wow. So now you and I have the two most powerful, deep, life-transforming commands (invitations), according to Jesus Himself. To reiterate, you are to love your Abba, God the Father, with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. And…you are additionally to love Jesus more than you love your children, more than you love your parents, in fact, more than you love anything.

Simple. Concise. Disruptive. Troubling. What are we to think about these loves? What are we to do with these loves? As I see it, there are four questions we must ask, and answer:

  1. What is the relationship between them?
  2. What is the nature of the love?
  3. Where does it come from? How do you get to be this way?
  4. How important is it?

Let’s take those one at a time.

Do You Love God or Jesus?

What exactly is the relationship between loving God and loving Jesus? Is it really that big of a deal? Yes, it is a big, big deal. Why? There are many reasons why, but the one I want to address here today is this: Because it is the “main” issue in effectively reaching Muslims worldwide with the Gospel. You probably weren’t expecting me to go there, were you?

You see, the world is getting smaller everyday. Oh, maybe not physically, but it is getting smaller. The days of nations, or ethnic-socio-political-religious groups being able to sit in their own little corner, doing their own little thing is long gone. With the increase in technology, transportation, social media, etc., we find ourselves facing, over and over again, that we are one world, a multi-cultural world where lots of religions are coming together. We can’t isolate ourselves any longer, and we can’t ignore each other and pretend the others don’t exist any longer. We are forced to take a cold, hard, look and ask the hard question about the elephant that is standing right smack in the middle of the global room: Do we all worship the same God? Can you get to God through the “door” of Jesus; while I go through another prophet? Many would say yes. The truth, however, is the answer is an emphatic, “No!”

One day, John the Beloved, the disciple that loved Jesus more than all the others (thus history refers to John as the “Apostle of Love” – Read His Gospel and his three epistles and you will be struck by the emphasis that He places on love), recorded that Jesus looked eyeball to eyeball with the Pharisees, who were the predominate Jewish religious leaders of the day, and said, “If God were your Father, you would love Me” (Jn. 8:42).

Jesus just told the most religious, God-oriented, Old Testament, Torah-saturated people on the whole planet: You don’t know God. God is not your Father. And He doesn’t stop there, He goes on to say that while they claim to be serving God, in actuality they are of their father the devil. Talk about fighting words. Talk about intolerance. The Gospel litmus test, according to Jesus, on rightfully discerning whether or not somebody really believes in God, is a lover of God, and whether or not they are truly serving God boils down to one thing, and one thing only. Do they love Jesus? Do they embrace Jesus for who He said He was, and for who He really is? You can’t say, “Oh, Jesus was a great teacher.” You can’t get by with saying, “Oh, Jesus was a great prophet, one of many prophets that provide a path to God.” No, according to Jesus, the only way to prove you believe in God, love God, and are serving God is if you acknowledge that He is the very Son of God.

On another occasion, Jesus, speaking to these same leaders, says, “I know you don’t have the love of God in you. I have come in my Father’s Name and you don’t receive Me” (Jn. 5:42-43). Do you see what He was saying to them? Let me summarize and paraphrase what Jesus was saying: “For all of your rhetoric, for all of your pomp and circumstance, the reality is you don’t have the love of God in you. How do I know that? Because you don’t receive Me.”

So here, I am talking with an individual, who is a Muslim person, or with a Muslim group who says: “I worship the true God just like you worship the true God.” Here is where the rubber meets the road, Jesus would say, “No, you don’t know, or worship, the true God if you don’t receive Me as the Son of God.”

So, here we have found the answer to our first question: what is the relationship between loving God and loving Jesus? You can’t have the one without the other. Loving Jesus is the sole test of whether you love God or not. Loving God is, and can only be, verified by whether or not you truly love Jesus.

What Is Love?

Secondly, we have to ask ourselves, what is the nature of this love? Some would reduce the kind of love that Jesus is speaking of to outward obedience to the things that Jesus said. In other words, if you truly love Jesus, then you will prove it by “doing” what He said do, and refrain from doing what He said don’t do. But that is not the answer – that is just cosmetic Christianity. Being an Apostolic Follower of Jesus is much more than surface dos and don’ts – it goes much deeper, down to the reality in the area of the heart and affections. ? Jesus says, “If you love mother or father more than Me, you are not worthy of Me. If you love son or daughter more than Me, you are not worthy of Me.” You could also add in, “If you love grandson or granddaughter more than Me, you are not worthy of Me.” Let’s look at the point He is trying to get across to us, shall we? You see, Jesus is saying that your love for Him should be like the love you have for your parents, or children (or even grandchildren).

Track with me here…

You don’t prove you love your children by doing the things they say do, do you? Of course not! How do you prove your love for your children? By treasuring them. You would die for your children, or even your grandchildren. They are precious to you, more precious than anything else, am I right? There is not enough money in the world that would get you to sell them. Why not? Because, they’re your treasure. Well, if Jesus isn’t a better treasure, nay, a “much” higher treasure, then, friend, you aren’t worthy of Jesus.

Back in 1984, one of my all time favorite CCM artists, Steve Camp, on his album, “Fire and Ice”, recorded a duet with Michelle Pillar called “Love’s Not a Feeling”. I love Steve Camp. I really liked the album. But Steve was wrong (or at the least he wasn’t completely correct). Look at the chorus:

Love's not a feeling, oh, we've got to learn
To get past our emotions to the meaning of the Word
Love's not a feeling we can lose or throw away
Lord, give us the courage to live it every day

The point that Steve was trying to make was that love isn’t, and can’t be, an emotion or an affection because it is commanded, and everyone knows you can’t command the emotions.

Well, that argument misses the mark by a country mile. The reason it misses the mark is because of course Jesus commands the emotions. The Bible, from front to back, is filled with repeated commands concerning our emotions. We are responsible for how we feel. We are commanded to fear. We are commanded to be thankful. We are commanded to be compassionate. We are commanded to be earnest. We are commanded to hope. And we are commanded to love. All of those are emotions. Of course God has the right to command our emotions. You see, our problem is we are so corrupt and so dead that we find ourselves struggling to do the right emotion  - but that isn’t God’s problem - it’s our problem – a result of our sin and corruption.

No Less Than a Feeling

I know many Christians and Christian leaders who are emphatic about loving Jesus coming down to nothing more than what we do. After all, doesn’t John 14:15 say, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” So many well-meaning people say: There, see. Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments”. Love is nothing more than obedience. It is not feeling any particular thing for Jesus. You can’t trust your emotions, it is just doing what He commanded.

My reply is this: I hear what you are saying, and I understand what you mean, but there is one big problem – what you just said is NOT what Jesus said. Jesus said, “If you love Me,” then it will be undeniably demonstrated by this thing called keeping My commandments. Loving Jesus is easy, deep, foundational, and transformative, not because you understand what He commands and therefore you strive to obey Him. No! A thousand times no! You willingly, lovingly, gladly do whatever He desires, whatever He asks, simply because you treasure Him above all things. Because of your deep “love” for Him, because you treasure Him above all, therefore you delight to do what He commands. Get it?

Yes, certainly the nature of the love Jesus commands includes our heartfelt, joyful obedience, but it isn’t less than our being radically transformed by an all consuming, whole-hearted love for Him. Obedience is difficult, nay, impossible, to the one who only has a command. But love is easy to the one who is treasuring, admiring, delighting in, being satisfied by this most beautiful Treasure of all. The nature of God’s kind of love is: “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Phil. 3:8).

It Takes God to Love God

Where does the God kind of love originate? Do you remember the incident in Luke chapter 7 where the Pharisee invited Jesus to be his guest for dinner? Though it was the custom of the day, he didn’t wash Jesus’s feet when He entered his house. He didn’t kiss Jesus. In fact, he didn’t do anything that showed he had any affection for Jesus at all. Then, suddenly into the room came a “woman of the street,” a prostitute, who fell down before Jesus, leaning over and washing Jesus’s bare feet with her tears. As she leans over Jesus weeping, her tears fall on His dirty feet, and she takes her hair and washes Jesus’ feet. Pretty provocative, wouldn’t you say? Well, our friend, the Pharisee, thought so and was t-totally bent out of shape and spews out at Jesus: “If You are a prophet, You would know what kind of woman this is, for she’s a sinner (Lk. 7:39).

Jesus looks up and tells the Pharisee a story. There was this man who had two debtors. One owed him $5,000. One owed him $5. Well, he forgave them both. Tell me, which one will love him more? The Pharisee answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt” (Lk. 7:43). Jesus says, “You have judged rightly” (Lk. 7:43). He goes on to say, “When I came in here, you didn’t kiss Me, or even wash My feet. But from the time I came in, she has wept over My feet, washed them with her tears, wiped them with her hair — all because she has been forgiven much.”

So back to our question. Where does the kind of love that God commands us to have – the God kind of love – originate? It only comes from a person who has been overwhelmed by the revelation of how much they are loved by God. The God kind of love, is the natural result of one who has been overwhelmed by the Person of Jesus dying on our behalf and rising again, though we didn’t deserve it, and many times, even though we didn’t ask for it. When that revelation gets a hold of your heart, friend, then you will taste what it is to treasure, delight, and be t-totally satisfied in Jesus. Then, love is easy.

What Is The Point?

What is the point, and why is it important? Jesus, the God-Man, says, “If you don’t love Me more than you love your parents, you are not worthy of Me. If you don’t love Me more than you love your children, you are not worthy of Me.” And He could have said, “If you don’t love Me more than your grandchildren, you are not worthy of Me.” Have you ever asked yourself, what He meant when He said one could be not worthy of Him? It is simple. It means you won’t have Him. If you don’t love Jesus, you won’t have Jesus. Paul says: He who does not love the Lord, let him be accursed (1 Corinthians 16:22).

Apostolic Christianity, more commonly known as what Jesus demands from us, is not most deeply and fundamentally about the decisions of the will (though that is important). That comes later. Deeply and most fundamentally, Apostolic Christianity is a new birth, a new creation — a deep, profound transformation of who we are and what we treasure, what we love. And if at the core of your being it isn’t all about Jesus, then you are not worthy of Jesus. It is important to keep in mind that when I talk about being worthy of Jesus it doesn’t have anything to do with our being deserving of Jesus. It all boils down to our being a suitable, redeemed, forgiven, whole-hearted, head-over-heals-in-love with Jesus person, who is way different than the world because we live to live in His Presence. When Jesus is your supreme Treasure, you belong with Him.