Fan Your Love For Jesus Into A Flame

Questions, questions, questions. Everybody asks me questions.

Airport security people ask me questions: “Has your luggage been in your possession since leaving home?” “Have you been approached by anyone to carry a package?” “Did you pack your bags?” You don?t want to try to be funny with airport people. You don?t want to say, ?No, actually they were packed by a stranger I met at the gun shop yesterday.? They probably won?t be laughing as they?re cuffing you.

Game shows ask me questions. ?Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader?,? ?So You Want to be a Millionaire,? and more. I?d like to see one called ?Are You Nerdier than a Home-Schooler?? Hey, back off home school people, I?m just kidding ? Stephen was home schooled and look at him. On second thought, don?t.

?Jeopardy? actually gives the answers and contestants have to supply the questions. For example the “Answer” might be: “The French military leader who met his final defeat at Waterloo on June 18, 1815.” And we all know the Question: ?Who is Napoleon Dynamite??

After his resurrection, Jesus asked Peter the most piercing question in the world: ?Do you love me??

Before Jesus was crucified, proud Peter swore he?d never deny Christ, then disowned him three times. So after he rose, Jesus asked Peter three times, ?Do you love me?? He didn?t ask Peter if he was a good person, or if he believed in God or did good things. He asked Peter if he loved him.

Do you love Jesus? This is the most important question in the world. I’ve been asking myself this a lot lately.

My love for Jesus falls far short of what I?d desire. It grieves me to think about how weak and pitiful my love for Jesus is. But I’m so glad that Jesus doesn’t quench even a smoldering wick. If there is one true spark of love for him he can fan it into a flame. And if we’re concerned about our poor love for Christ, that’s a good thing, for unbelievers don?t love him at all and aren?t even bothered by it. It?s a mark of a believer to desire to love Jesus more.

How can we cultivate love for Jesus? Here are a few thoughts:

Think on the cross. Think of what it cost Jesus to bring you to God. He underwent infinite humiliation in becoming human. He withstood Satan?s worst temptations. He accepted rejection, mocking, scourging, and crucifixion. He drank the cup of God?s fury against sin for you. How can we not love Jesus for all he endured for us?

Think on all Jesus has done for you. He?s rescued you from your sins, cleansed you with his blood, and brought you to God. He?s had mercy on you, revealed himself to you, given eternal life to you.

Think of all Jesus continues to do for you.
He intercedes for you, blesses you, bears with you, encourages you, protects you, speaks to you, answers your prayers, helps you, fills you with joy. We have so many reasons to love him.

Finally, pray, and ask Jesus to fill you with love for him. He loves to answer this prayer.

How about you? How do you seek to cultivate and fan into flame your love for Jesus?

Mark Altrogge

I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I enjoy songwriting, oil painting and coffee, not necessarily in that order.

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