If we ask each Christian the question, “Do you love Jesus?”, everyone will give the answer, which is a very easy, “Yes.” However, there is one thing we should notice. We need to determine whether our answer comes from the very bottom of our hearts or whether we are giving a very hypocritical answer. In Matthew 26:33 Peter said, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away,” and in verse 35, Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” Then, all of the disciples said the same. Here we find Peter using very extreme words, “never” and “if I must die with you,” to express his love. Yet, in the last verses of the very same chapter, we find Peter’s denial of Christ.
In John 21:15-17, we find the conversation of Jesus and Peter about love. Actually, Jesus was questioning Peter how much he loves Him. After Jesus asked him three times the question, “Do you love me more than these things?”, Peter was grieved because he recalled the moment he denied Jesus. Likewise, in our lives, especially while we are in good conditions, it is very easy to say, “I love God, I love Jesus, and I am faithful to Him.” However, we have no guarantee that we will never face a difficult situation. To our surprise, we might also deny Jesus like Peter if we face a similar situation, especially if our claim to love Jesus is hypocritical, coming out the mouth but not from the heart.
Deuteronomy 6:5 says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” This verse is quoted several times in the New Testament to remind us and to make us know how we should love God. Just loving God might be an easy thing, but to love Him with all one’s heart, with all one’s soul, and with all one’s might is not easy. Sometimes, this might lead us to give up what we love to do, not to be together with people whom we love, and even to be persecuted and killed. When we look back at the apostle Peter, except his denial of Christ three times, he was faithful throughout his life. He was martyred for the sake of Christ.
How about us? We will not deny Christ like Peter in our lives, but how about in our everyday lives? In John 14:15 Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” Jesus taught to keep His commandments if we love Him. We cannot adjust the Word of God to suit us (Revelation 22:18-19). Sometimes people add to and sometimes they remove from the Word of God, but they claim to love God more than everything and act like enthusiastic Christians. Such persons are hypocrites. Unfortunately, many Christians around the world claim that they really love God, but they do not obey what is commanded in His Word.
To summarize, loving God in words is not what the Bible says about loving God. It must be action, and it is shown by obeying what He has commanded us. James 2:17, reads, “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” The Christian’s actions must be according to Scripture. So, after answering the question, “Do you love Jesus?”, the next question that should follow is, “How deep is your love?” The very simple way to discern the correct answer is to look back on our lives to see whether we obeyed God’s Word or our own fleshly desires. Some of us might be ready to sacrifice even our lives for Christ, but if there is no obedience to His words and what He has taught us to do, our love is not yet deep enough.
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