The Growing Depth Of Love
Paul is one of the most well known historical figures in biblical history. He wrote thirteen of the sixty six books that come together as the book we know as the Bible today. An astonishing 19.7%.
Paul was a man that loved Jesus Christ very much. So much so, that he was willing and even at times wanting to die for His names sake. In Acts 21:13 it says,
Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
In this text, we can see the depth of love that Paul had for Jesus. No matter the cost, Paul intended to obey the Lord and go to Jerusalem. Our Lord Jesus Christ was not just a part of Paul’s heart; He had ALL of Paul’s heart. Even after the prophet Agabus prophesied of his demise, Paul would not be persuaded any other way.
Lets step back for a moment and look at the depth of Paul’s love for Christ, and in turn, compare the depth of our own love for our risen Savior.
His love for Christ led him to be obedient, even under duress and the threat of death. This is what a deep love for Christ will lead to.
John 14:15 says,
“If you love Me, you will obey My command.”
For the ones who love; truly love the Lord Jesus Christ, His words will be more precious than life itself, invoking even a desire to obey unto one’s last breath, no matter how that breath is taken from him.
John 14:21 says,
“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is He who loves me. And he who loves Me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
“ If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word; and my Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.”
Our love for Christ will lead us to seek after His Word, His commands, His teachings, His will and the destiny He has created just for us.
The one who loves the Lord Jesus Christ will not be content with anything outside of the will of our Lord. It will be his most earnest desire to seek the knowledge of the will of Jesus, his constant study and search to obey in order to please his Savior and a continuous hunt to discover more and more of the treasures in the promises of his King.
Our love for Christ will lead us to seek to live a pure life. It will cause us to abandon the systems of lies created by the enemy and accepted by the misled lost of this world.
Jesus is the Holy One of God Almighty and He is infinitely pure. He hates sin, not just in the action but also in the heart. Our love for Christ will lead us to do those things that are pleasing to Him and too reject the things and ways of living that are sinful to Him. If we have any depth of love for Jesus, we will desire to be all that is pleasing to Him.
1 Peter 1:15–17 says,
“but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear;”
Our love for Christ will lead us to study Him, to study His Word, too know Him more and deepen our relationship with Him. His desire is to have a pure and holy people ( church), “…that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the Word,”.
2 Timothy 3:16–17 says,
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
By study of the Scripture and rightly dividing His word, our minds, hearts and spirits are washed “of water by the word” and we are transformed, continuously into the form we were called to be from the very begining. We are purified, cleansed, transformed, conformed to His image and begin to take after His own heart and walk in His will.
Our depth of love for Christ will bring a desire to seek communion with our King. We get the word communion from the Latin communis- which means the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level. We will seek to deepen our relationship, not by mere knowledge of or simple understanding; but by an unexplainable connection from spirit to Spirit, a palpable presence experienced in a realm unseen but felt to the core of our being; a soul shaking surety of His Being consuming us. In this communion, we find heaven and earth collide and the galaxies meshed together; everything coming together in power from on high and we become one with the Almighty, overpowered and lost in His infinite glory.
1 John 4:13 says,
“By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given of us His Spirit.”
We grow into that which we seek.
2 Corinthians 3:18 says,
“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, Who is the Spirit.”
Our depth of love for Christ will lead us to be like Christ. It will give us a desire to Love and spread joy, too be at peace and give peace. This desire out of love for Christ will give us patience, self control, make us kind and seek goodness, too be faithful and gentle, meek and lowly in heart, forgiving and humble; it will make us honest and dependable, courageous and confident. We will be content to the destruction of envy and generous to the point of sacrifice with a glad heart. We will be attentive, one to another in the fashion of neighbors, brothers and sisters, thoughtful and compassionate, obedient with childlike faith, strong in our conviction, fearless in the storm and decisive in our desires. This desire to be like Christ Jesus, because of our love for Jesus will make us merciful even to our enemies, causing even the weakest of us to stand strong and persevere, too be selfless and suffer for the greater good.
Our depth of love for Jesus will lead to sacrifices for our Lord. Paul strove daily to live like Christ, and sacrificed much in the Name of his King. Listen to what he says,
2 Corinthians 11:24–27
“ From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fasting’s often, in cold and nakedness — “
HERE is an example of sacrifices in the Name of Jesus that would break any other man. This man stood on conviction unwavering, hope untainted, faith laid solid on the Rock and love unadulterated…love…obedient, pure, shared, sacrificial, humble and ever increasing; an example to be emulated.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:1–3,
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.”
Have you ever asked or thought to ask yourself, “ Do I love Jesus Christ as much as I think I do?” “ Can I love Him more?” “Can my love for my Savior grow?” “Can I get closer to my Lord?”
I am here to assure you, there is no end to the love of Jesus Christ, our God and Savior; and there is no end to the depth of love you can have for Him. Our hearts hold a lot of things within it; many of which, if we love Christ, we desire to rid ourselves of in order to grow closer to Him. We can reach further toward heaven, we can bow deeper at the throne of Grace….He will teach our hearts, corroded by the filth of this world, to shed its hardened shell to trust in Jesus, too surrender and learn to love Him more. Yes, we can learn to love, the same as we, being consumed by this evil world have learned to hate….we can learn to love…and once we do, the deepest of the deep will never be enough….leading us further into His perfect and beautiful presence.
1 Corinthians 13:13
“ And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”