Hope For Feeble Lovers Of Jesus

Do you want to love Jesus more?

What kind of a question is that? No Mark, I want to love him less. And I want less joy in my life. And while we are at it I’d like a few less blessings.

Often my love for Jesus feels even weaker than my love for opera (no offense opera lovers ? I’m sure it’s my ignorance and lack of ability to appreciate the glories of people dressing up like Vikings and singing in Italian. Hey hey hey ? back off. Don’t go filling up the comments section with rebukes. I’m just kidding. I know opera isn’t really about people dressing up like Vikings and singing in Italian. Opera is about pinball wizards, like in “Tommy” by The Who).

Ever try to light a match on a windy day? Sometimes my love for Jesus feels about as strong as a match flame in a hurricane. I’m not happy about my weak love for Jesus. I take seriously Jesus’ warning to the church of Laodicea about being lukewarm.

But the weakness of my love for Jesus doesn’t cause me to despair. For any genuine love for Jesus, even if it’s as small as a mustard seed, is proof one’s born again. Unbelievers don’t love Jesus and don’t care that they don’t love Jesus. Only genuine believers desire to love Jesus more.

Even a desire to love Jesus more pleases him. What wife wouldn’t be blessed if her husband said, Honey I’m not content with how much I love you. I love you, but I want to love you so much more.

To long to love Jesus more says we recognize he’s worthy of our all. That his infinite glory demands infinite love, praise, and worship. That our love for him doesn’t match his worthiness to be loved.

A toddler can’t possibly love her mother the way she should or appreciate all the ways her mother loves her and cares for her. Yet when that child says, “Mommy I love you” that child’s imperfect love brings joy to her mom.

Most of us know we’re pretty poor servants of Jesus. We often muddle and stumble along as best we can, like little kids who make a bigger mess trying to help than if the parents had just done it themselves. (How many times has Jesus had to clean up after me). Yet somehow even our feeble, flawed love for him brings a smile to his face.

I’m so grateful Christ bled on the cross for all the imperfections of my bungling love and halting, feeble affection. And grateful that even my match-flame of desire delights him, because he’s the one who lit that fire in my heart, no matter how small it seems.

And I’m grateful Jesus will keep fanning that flame. He’s poured his Spirit in me, who stirs the coals and blows on the flame morning by morning.

Here’s my hope ? I don’t love Jesus as much as I should, but I will. Increasingly. For all eternity.

Jesus, give us more love for you!

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.