The above audio is from a message I shared on Wednesday night at The Journey Church in Montgomery, TX – March 7, 2018
Do you love Jesus?
How do you know?
What does it mean to love Jesus?
Do we really understand what it means to love someone?
Let’s start with something we all understand. Loving yourself. You may say, I don’t love myself, I don’t like how I look or I talk funny or people think I’m weird.
But, the Bible says we all love ourself.
“For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:”
Ephesians 5:29 KJV
We also know this because the Bible commands us multiple times to love others like we love ourselves.
“Love your neighbor as yourself”
“Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”
Philippians 2:4 KJV
We all naturally want what’s best for us. Right? Think back to the last time you were really hungry…I mean you were practically starving – who were you thinking about feeding at that moment…probably not anybody else, right? You! You wanted food for you!
We’re like that about everything in life. We always want the best for ourselves and if someone else has something better, we want it too. We love ourselves.
So, a very simple definition of love could be this – “wanting the best for someone else.”
But, love goes deeper than that – true love always requires action. So, really, a better definition would be – “doing all you can to secure the best for someone else”
That’s what marriage is – two people trying to do what is best for each other.
That’s what parenting is – a mom or a dad doing the best they can for their child.
That’s what friendship is – wanting the best for someone else and giving of yourself for them – you don’t wish bad things would happen to your friends. You spend time with them and invest in them – you want to be around them.
So, when we talk about loving Jesus and we apply this definition to that – “loving Jesus is doing all we can to give him our best”
So, let me ask you again, do you love Jesus?
Let’s put our love to the test and look at three areas – just three – where our love for Jesus should be obvious.
When I say obvious, I mean other people should be able to tell that you love Jesus by looking at these three areas of your life.
How do you spend your time?
How much of your time do you spend giving of yourself for Jesus?
Let me ask you a question. Most of you spend the majority of your day at school. How many times during your day at school do you pray for your classmates? How many times a day do you pray for your teachers?
How often do you tell someone Jesus loves them?
Then when school is done – do you get in the car to go home and talk about how good God was at school that day? Or do you complain about homework or teachers or having a bad day?
When you get home is the first thing you do run to your Bible and spend some alone time with God or is it to run to your TV or computer and spend some alone time with movies or video games or tv shows?
When you eat dinner with your family do you bring up what God has been showing you in your life lately or do you talk about other things?
When you go to bed at night do you spend some time praying and thanking God for his blessing that day or maybe listening to a sermon before bed?
When you wake up in the morning is your first thought about you or is it about God?
Do you love Jesus or not!? Then why don’t you desire to spend time with him? Why don’t you think about him during the day? Why don’t you want to talk to him and about him?
If this was your girlfriend or boyfriend we were talking about they would have already dumped you along time ago because you’re too in love with yourself…you don’t have any time for them.
Jesus loves you more than any human being can ever love you and we can’t even give him a moment of our time.
Let’s call it what it is. These other things aren’t distractions. They’re not excuses. They’re not busyness….anything that keeps you away from God is an idol! It is idolatry.
We don’t hear that word much anymore. But, let’s see what God thinks about idols.
“And ye have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them:) Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood; And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst: The Lord will not spare him, but then the anger of the Lord and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the Lord shall blot out his name from under heaven.”
Deuteronomy 29:17-20 KJV
Those are strong words. You know it’s interesting. A lot of the same definitions for love are also definitions of worship. We worship what we love.
Every one of us in this room has idols in their life – myself included – anything you love more than God is an idol! Think about it, how many idols are you worshipping in your life right now? Some of you are thinking about wanting to go home and worship your idol right now.
Man, i can’t wait for this to be over so I can hang out with my friends or go home and play my video games…or whatever
This is serious business. God takes idolatry very seriously. He HATES idolatry. He is a JEALOUS God and he has every right to be angry with your idolatry.
You need to be honest with yourself. Do you love Jesus or do you love your idols?
How do you use your time?
We all probably know the verse, “The love of money is the root of all evil” – one of the reasons why this is true is that money is one of the most pervasive and dangerous idols of all.
So, do you love Jesus with your money? Do you spend your money on things that will make you happy and secure your best interests? Or do you give freely to God to further His best interests?
Do you give to the church and missions?
You may say I don’t have much money…oh so you do have some? Do you have a dollar? How are you going to spend it? On yourself or to spread the love of Christ?
If you don’t have any money at all right this moment you will someday, likely very soon, and what you decide to do with it right now is critical!
If you don’t control your money, your money will control you.
There are few better indicators of someone’s love for Christ than how they spend their money.
Put your money where your mouth is, right?
If you SAY you love Jesus, who cares?! I mean really, who cares what you say…unless you prove it to me by what you do.
How do you spend your money?
Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments”.
How many of us keep all the commandments in the Bible 100% perfectly every day?
Then, how can you possibly know 100% certain that you love Jesus.
I know you’re waiting for me to bail you out with a “God gives grace” and “Jesus loves you in spite of your failure”…but I’m not letting you off that easy even though those things are true.
Here’s why, I’m tired of young people abusing the grace of God and talking out of both sides of their mouth. Saying they love Jesus out of one side and worshiping their idols from the other.
God’s grace and Christ’s love is not a license for you to do whatever you want and waste your Youth however you feel like.
If you love Him, keep his commandments!
Shame on the church for telling our young people it’s ok to live like they want because you’re young. Shame on Christian adults for not holding you to a higher standard and giving you a free pass to do whatever you feel like.
More and more young people just like you are leaving the faith every single day! Because Christianity is no different than the rest of the world. The Christian life is no different than any other life. There is no heart transformation, no desire to serve God, no true love for Jesus.
I don’t want you to say you love Jesus because it’s the right answer – I want to really and truly love Him!
If you love Him, keep his commandments.
This doesn’t mean you can’t ever make a mistake…or that you’ll lose your salvation or anything like that.
But, if you have no desire to obey Jesus and you don’t repent of your disobedience and i mean really repent- if you don’t hate your sin and idolatry as much as God does…you should be very careful with just casually throwing out the fact that you love Jesus.
Jesus told the church in the book of revelation, I wish that you were on fire for me or just didn’t even claim my name at all – but you’re wishy washy like a cup of lukewarm water and I will spit you out of my mouth.
God isn’t interested in half hearted young people here at the Journey Church. And frankly neither am I. I need you all in or not at all.
If you don’t want to go all in for Jesus, ok. We’ll pray for you and you’ll be welcome here…but this isn’t for you. Straight up. You won’t get anything out of this.
If you want to love Jesus though. That’s the first step. If you want to know him, if you want to see him. That’s why I’m here, that’s why I came. To help you get there.
I am so concerned and burdened for your souls. You’ve been lied to by Christian preachers and culture and the Devil all telling you it’s fine to wait to serve God until you’re older. Now is the time to explore who you are and find yourself.
No! Now is the time to do amazing things for Christ and his kingdom.
You’ve heard about the students who took over social media to begin discussions and raise awareness for their gun control agenda – they’ve gotten the attention of the decision makers.
You have all the tools to be the most influential generation of all time and imagine if we used that influence for the kingdom of Christ! Imagine if we used it to win our lost friends to Jesus and get them here to church.
Some of you don’t even care…and those are the people I’m scared for…are you absolutely sure you’re a child of God?
Children of God want to obey him. Children of God want to love him and serve him. Children of God give their time and money to him.
Children of God are repentant of their sins and seek to know God…
If you can’t say you have those desires, you have cause to be concerned over the validity of your salvation. Is this real for you?
Are you just here to be here? Or do you want Wednesday nights to be the life-changing part of your week that they can be and will be?