Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Should We Talk About Falling In Love With Jesus?



I have seen a trend among many well-meaning Christian writers and singers. I understand why they do this.

I have read books and heard songs inviting me to "fall in love with Jesus" and to "have a love affair with God." This sounds very beautiful.

Especially this theological metaphor has been used most in addressing single people and those in unhappy marriages. "Just let Jesus be your Husband," is the invitation.

Especially in some modern Christian music, singers seem to like to sing of the Christian life as a "love affair" with Jesus. I have found this to be so especially among early modern Christian music.

It is true that the Church is depicted in the Bible as the Bride of Christ and we are His Body which He loves with a deep, tender, self-sacrificing love. The command for husbands in Christian marriages to love their wives is based on our relationship with Christ and based on this metaphor. Other parts of Scripture depict the Church as the Bride of Christ and us as His Body. If you really read the Bible, though, you will not be able to find anywhere that we are, as individuals, depicted as individual "brides of Christ." In fact, I have noticed all over Scripture, that everywhere that God's love is mentioned, it is always addressed to us collectively. In the New Testament, when God's love is mentioned, it is almost always addressed to the Church of Christ collectively. Is it that God does not see us as individuals, only as a group or groups? This used to bother me. However, it is clear, in the teaching of the Election of followers of Jesus, that God elects us as individuals "before the foundation of the world."

Jesus did mention what constitutes love for Him. He tells us, "If you love me, you will obey what I command" (John 14:15, NIV). Before we says, "Amen!" we have to get it into our heads what this means and that this is hard stuff. Just read the Sermon on the Mount, for starters. He meant every word He said there, and everywhere else.

This very same Jesus will be the One before Whom all us us will have to stand at the Judgment Seat, to receive rewards as His followers (if we receive any). I wish that our Pastors would preach about the Judgment and about the reality of the stark fact that each of us will have to give an account for how we have lived on Earth. This is bad news for those who do not know Jesus, but it is bad news also for many of us who have lived careless Christian lives and have lived for ourselves instead of Jesus who had lived and died for us.

Devotion should not be confused with emotion. I fear that this metaphor of the Christian life as "falling in love with Jesus" can set us up to do just that. But as I can tell you, we dare not walk by our emotions or gauge our spiritual health based on what we feel.

Yes, by all means, Following Jesus is all about loving Him because He first loved us! But we need to realize how Jesus spells love. It is call "O-B-E-D-I-E-N-C-E." This should prompt us to pray for fully surrendered hearts that want to do whatever He asks of us.

This is the kind of Bride He is coming back for, one with a pure and unspotted wedding garment of holy lives.

He calls us to fulfill the Great Commission, to go and make disciples "of all nations." You can help to fulfill this Great Commission in a very simple way. Please visit here.

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