Originally written March 6, 2018
Do you truly love Jesus? What kind of question is that? Of course I love Jesus. If I didn't love Him I wouldn't be praying through Him or serving Him. Right? Well, you may partially be loving Him by doing those things, but not 100% according to Jesus.
Jesus said in John 14:15 that “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments." Verse 21 says "He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” What commandments is Jesus talking about? Well, I am not going to get into the full teaching of which commandments we are or aren't supposed to be following right now. What I am going to do is highlight some basic things that Jesus taught, to show you what I think He meant about following His commands. I believe the commands He was referring to was the two greatest commandments.
Matthew 22:37-40 says “‘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 foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
How do you love God with all your heart, soul and mind? I always thought your soul was your mind, will, and emotions, but this verse kind of debunks that without even trying. The Greek meaning of soul kind of puts it like that, but not really. In my mind we should know what it means in Hebrew because that is where soul was originally spoken. Soul, in the Strong's Concordance Hebrew Lexicon translates as nephesh.
5315 nephesh neh'-fesh from 5314; properly, a breathing creature, i.e. animal of (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense (bodily or mental):--any, appetite, beast, body, breath, creature, X dead(-ly), desire, X (dis-)contented, X fish, ghost, + greedy, he, heart(-y), (hath, X jeopardy of) life (X in jeopardy), lust, man, me, mind, mortally, one, own, person, pleasure, (her-, him-, my-, thy-)self, them (your)-selves, + slay, soul, + tablet, they, thing, (X she) will, X would have it.
What I gather soul to be after researching many places, means your life. It means we are a living being. So back to where Jesus say's to love with all our heart, soul and mind. I believe to love God with all our soul or life is to actually give our life to Him. Tell Him He can have it, to do what He wants with it and be obedient to Him. If He asks something of you, do it. I think we get the heart and mind part, but but basically God is holy and wants us to live holy and think holy thoughts that draw us closer to Him. He is our king and loves us more than we could ever know love, so our thoughts and actions should have Him in mind. That, in a nutshell comprises the 1st greatest commandment.
The second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. We all know the golden rule, but do we follow it? Jesus is saying if we don't follow His commands, then we don't really love Him. We could never live up to the Mosaic law or even these two commandments that Jesus gave. The only possible way to do it is by believing that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and that they are taken away. Jesus was always telling people to turn from their sins.
I believe we need to repent, or turn away from our sins of not loving God the way we are supposed to and repent for not loving our neighbors as our self. I also believe we should always be keeping these things in our mind until we have a peace that we are obeying them. Don't make it into something religious, or some kind of works though.
In Matthew 5:17, Jesus said "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." He fulfilled the law with the shedding of His blood. Our sins will be forgiven if we believe that they are and actually turn from them. We will always slip up, but we will always be forgiven if we just ask and believe. Ask yourself this question. Am I loving Jesus? Do I follow His teachings and obey His commandments? One simple thing to do to get back on track is to simply ask God to help you.
Just say "Lord, please help me love you more. Let me know your love so that I may love you and my neighbor as myself. Let me know your love so that I can love myself and truly understand forgiveness. In Jesus name, amen."