Love Jesus More

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Jesus said that “if ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Is it correct to interpret that if keeping commandments is a sign of our love for him, that is the only way to show love for him? If so, does that mean if we go beyond keeping the commandments then we love him more?

For example, one of the commandments is to not commit adultery. So, if I go even further and not even daydream about committing adultery, does that mean I love Jesus that much more?

Another commandment is to not take the lord’s name in vain. If I go even further and not use any profanity, does that mean I love Jesus more?

Yet another commandment is to not drink coffee. If I go further and not eat mocha chocolate bars or drink caffeinated drinks, does that mean I love Jesus more?

8 thoughts on “Love Jesus More

  1. This is also known as “building a hedge around the law.” You not only want to keep the commandment, but you want to be so cautious that you don’t even come close to breaking it, or put yourself in a position to break it. So you set other standards that you won’t violate, that keep you from even approaching the one that is actually a violation of the commandment.

    For example, I don’t want to engage in an unholy or impure practice such as pornography. Doing so would be a direct violation of a covenant. But I need to give myself more protection, so I choose to avoid visiting websites that feature “judging” or “rating” the physical appearance of women. This gives me a hedge–an added layer of protection. Likewise, a young couple dating may decide they’re never going to be alone in a certain type of situation, not because the aloneness is wrong in itself, but because it may tend to excite their feelings and lead them down the path to fornication.

    The Jews, ancient and modern, are famous for building these hedges. In general, they’re a good thing, but as Jesus showed, they can be turned into a bad, a prideful thing. The basically good instinct that says “I should set up some hedges around violating the sabbath” resulted in a twisting of values: Christ’s critics were more concerned with whether he was working on the sabbath than with the fact that he was doing God’s work of healing. Similarly, those who conspired to have him crucified were more concerned about the rule that didn’t allow them to keep blood money (returned by Judas) than they were with the fact that they had conspired in an unjust killing.

    So: You may be acting out of true love for Jesus when you set up these hedges for yourself. Or, you may not. I think it’s most likely you are acting out of love for Christ when you are looking inward at youirself and acting out of humble self-distrust. I think it’s most likely you are not actomg out of love for Christ when you are looking outward and judging others. Like the Pharisees, you may begin to place greater emphasis on the hedges than on the laws themselves, or on love for your fellow man.

  2. Kim,

    First off, if you want to love Jesus, you need to stop promoting the consumption of wine.

    But, seriously folks, to love Jesus more is to do more of his works. It has always irritated me when people say how much the love Jesus. The kind of love Jesus wants isnt the words, its the deeds. He wants people to do his works and actually put into practice his teachings. That is how we show our love.

    With respect to keeping the particulars of the commandments, we should discern the intent of the commandment and live it spiritually. The comment itbugaf makes above is what happens when you take the letter of the law and push it to the extreme (e.g., pharisaical regulations for sabbath observance, where a goy is employed to do all your “work”, etc.) whereas the spirit of the sabbath is to cease from your labors so you can focus on spiritual things.

  3. In agreeing with Kurt, I’d also like to point out that we shouldn’t misuse such terms as “living the law spiritually” or “the spirit of the law.” Some people use this terminology as a way to excuse their sins. They will say that they didn’t strictly keep the commandment, but they almost did. They hit the highlights. They kept most of it. They were a “near miss.” Rather than repent and resolve to actually live the commandment, they will wrest the concept of the “spirit” of the commandment. They will say that they’re not “technically” keeping the commandment but they’re keeping the “spirit” of the commandment. That’s a dangerous pattern of excusing sin.

    We may also be tempted to look at the commandment and say, “This commandment was given for a certain purpose. So instead of living the commandment, I’m going to do something else that I think will accomplish the same objective.” That’s also very dangerous. In effect, the person who does this places himself above God. He says, “I know better than the Giver of this law how I can accomplish what I know the goal is.” The person who says this doesn’t necessarily know the goal and certainly doesn’t know better than God how it should be accomplished.

    Of course, Jesus didn’t use the term “spirit of the law.” He said that the letter of the law kills and the Spirit gives life. In other words, the written laws have power to take away life but not to give it. That’s true; you could be stoned through administration of the Law of Moses, but you couldn’t be resurrected by the Law of Moses. The Spirit–that is, the Holy Ghost–purifies from sin and makes Eternal Life possible.

    What I believe Kurt is advocating, and what I certainly agree with, is that we should keep the commandments “spiritually”–that is, we should obey the letter of the law and we should also try to do it for the right reasons and seek the spiritual blessings that come from it.

  4. Jesus made this statement: “If you love God with all of your heart, mind and strength, and love your brother as yourself, you will keep all of the commands”. Jesus wants us to love people and love him. I don’t show my love to my wife by “not” committing adultery, I love her by acts of kindness and by being her friend. It is important that I don’t commit adultery, but the best way to gaurd against that is with a healthy marriage relationship.

    Jesus wants to be your friend. As a matter of fact, Isaiah wrote: “My Maker is my Husband”. He wants to be your friend and, dare I say it, your lover. Simply meaning, he wants to have that same intimacy that you and your lover feel. So just talk to Him as you would a friend and see what happens. I think you will be suprised by what He says back ;)

  5. Which verse says we can’t drink coffee? Don’t think I’ve ever heard of that one before.

    An another note, while I do agree that yes, if you truly love Jesus you will DESIRE to keep His commandments…but with this topic it would be important to watch out for falling into legalism and feeling like keeping the commands will MAKE you love Him more, rather than WHEN you love Him more, you WILL want to do what He wants for your life. We do works out of love, and not a sense of duty because we think we can “please God” by them. He wants hearts surrenender, not people who try to be “good”.

    1 Corinthians 13:3

    “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.”

    It’s a heart issue. I dont think how “extra” people follow God’s laws is a valid way to measure how much people love Jesus. Actually we can do that at all, only God can. “For man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.” Trying to figure out a way to “judge” a persons love sounds like risky buisniss to me!

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