Summary: Concerning truly loving Jesus.
Davie P. Nolte
Peter wrote, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to
His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection
of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and
undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the
power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this
you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been
distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold
which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and
glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you
love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice
with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the
salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:3-9 (NASB)
We have not seen Him, but we love Him. What is loving Jesus? How do we love Him?
What does loving Jesus really mean? Is it an emotion? Not essentially, though loving
Him can and ought to generate an emotion. Is it admiring Him for the fine and lofty
example He set? Is it being a Jesus Fan or Freak? Let’s get Jesus’ answer about how to
I. LOVING JESUS MEANS KEEPING HIM IN FIRST PLACE:
A. "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who
loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” Matthew 10:37
1. Jesus does not take away or minimize the need to love parents and children.
2. We know that honoring our parents is right and good; we know that parents are
supposed to love their children and, in fact, it is abnormal not to do so.
3. Jesus chided the Pharisees for manufacturing an excuse not to take care of their
parents. Note: “Then some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem
and said, ‘Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do
not wash their hands when they eat bread.’ And He answered and said to them,
‘Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your
tradition? For God said, “HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER,” and, “HE
WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER IS TO BE PUT TO DEATH.”
But you say, “Whoever says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever I have that would
help you has been given to God,’ he is not to honor his father or his mother.'
And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition.’”
Matthew 15:1-6 (NASB).
B. The fact is, if we obey this teaching, the more we love parents and children the
more we love Jesus! It’s just a matter of priority and of rank and order.
1. At the head of the Christian’s priority list must be Jesus followed by family,
church, work and so on.
2. The sad truth is that too many put sports, education, amusement, and other
personal pursuits of all kinds ahead of Jesus! They reason, “I must live; I must
make so much money; I must be clothed; I must be fed." Jesus said, "But seek
first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to
you.” Matthew 6:33 (NASB) That means putting Him first!
C. Where is Jesus in your life? In your schedule? In your priorities?
1. For some He is a spare tire – in the trunk, out of sight until needed.
2. For some He is A good-luck charm, fending off ill fortune without being noticed
3. For Paul He was life itself, as he put it, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is
gain.” Philippians 1:21 (RSV).
D. In 1932, a copy of the poem by Rhea F. Miller was laid on top of an organ
Seated at the organ was 23-year-old George Beverly Shea. He set the poem to
music and it became one of his most famous songs. What he sang was,
I'd rather have Jesus than silver or gold,
I'd rather be His than have riches untold;
I'd rather have Jesus than houses or land,
Yes, I'd rather be led by His nail-pierced hand.
I'd rather have Jesus than worldly applause,
I'd rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I'd rather have Jesus than worldwide fame,
I'd rather be true to His holy name.
Than to be the king of a vast domain