For those of us who follow Jesus, this is the question we all ask isn’t it? For some of us it came in the form of genuine devotion as we have sought to grow deeper in our faith and understanding of Jesus and His call on our lives. For others the question may have come with guilt. It may have come a moment of realization that wiped clear the faith of parents to reveal an underdeveloped faith beneath the surface in need of cultivating.
For me the question came in college during a “spiritual emphasis week” at Liberty University. David Nassar was the guest speaker and he laid out a challenge to follow Jesus in a way that I hadn’t heard before. He painted a picture that uncovered aspects of my life that I had ignored when it came to faith in Jesus. He showed me that my life was not surrendered. I began to ask the question of my life, “How do I love Jesus more?”
More than a decade removed from that moment, I’ve been chasing that question ever since. I know that I’ll never love Jesus completely. I know that I’m flawed and that no matter how hard I try, I can’t follow all the rules. I have also realized, in my pursuit of loving Jesus more, that Jesus love for me is not dependent on my pursuit of Him. My pursuit merely opens up my eyes to understand more of His love, and as I understand more of how Jesus love me, I can learn better how to love Jesus more. Dr. Ryken quotes Christian author A.W. Tower on the love of God: (The love of God is) “as an incomprehensibly vast, bottomless, shoreless sea.” There is little we could ever do to completely understand the greatness of God’s love for us.
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Dr. Phil Ryken is the president of Wheaton College and in his book Loving Jesus More he brings me back to many of the moment David Nassar first stirred in my heart. He writes with conviction and passion for helping others understand how to dive into their sanctification by learning how to love Jesus more. He says that “…there is hardly anything we need more in the Christian life that more love for Jesus.” If this statement is indeed true, that there are few things we should devote such time and attention to that learning how to love Jesus more.
We’ve all had the question, Ryken offers us some answers.