January 15, 2024

Loving Jesus First - Morning Devotion on Jan. 15, 2024

Loving Jesus First

John 13:

33 “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.

Jesus is not talking to literal children but to those who recognize him as their leader.

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 

By this stage of their lives, they would have already determined what love means to themselves. 

  • Parental Love
  • Sibling Love
  • Friendship Love
  • Puppy Love
  • Romantic Love

Jesus is referencing another level of Love: Much higher level of Love

  • Spiritual Love
  • Agape Love
  • Godly Love

To Love and trust the Lord with all your Heart, With all your Mind, with all your Soul. 

Without question. And lean not to your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

The real proof of your discipleship (with Jesus) is the God kind of Love we share with others.

If you were accused of being a disciple of Christ!
Would there be enough evidence to convict you?

"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father; a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law -- a man's enemies will he the members of his own household.

"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me."

Matthew 10:34-38

Did Jesus tell his followers to cherish everything and be nice to everyone? On the contrary he said, "Do not think I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword." Even John the Baptist said, "Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand." Why didn't he say "Rejoice, for the kingdom of Heaven is coming?" True repentance is not easy. First you have to repent for the historical mistakes made during the dispensation, and then do what was left undone.

The strict requirements of Jesus' teaching are contrary to what we want to hear and in opposition to what we want to do. Compared to today 2,000 years ago was a very spiritually dark and closed age; yet even under those circumstances Jesus said, "He who loves father and mother more than me is not worthy of me." Do you think the people of that unenlightened time would have welcomed Jesus?

If Jesus came today; he might proclaim that people should love him more than the President. He would walk into a wedding and say that it is better to live singly and forget about marriage in order to love Jesus. What if he said, "I don't want you to wait for marriage for eternity, just until I say that it is possible?" Do you think that the pastor who was presiding over the ceremony would say 'Jesus, you are right? This couple should wait to marry"? No! They all would say he was crazy and want to toss him out of the church. It is not surprising that the people of Jesus' time thought he was a crazy man who was unfit to live in society.

Eternal Happiness

February 25, 1979

When you are cold, you put on warmer clothes; when you are hungry, you feed yourself. You take really good care of yourself, but do you do the same for God? This is a very important matter for your life. We all have only one lifetime; at the end of your life, the serious question you must answer will be how well did you actually love God. The question has already been raised by Jesus, as recorded in the Bible. He demanded of people that they love him more than their own spouses or children or anyone else.

Love is of all different qualities. What is the standard for loving that we need to meet before we are actually qualified to say to someone, "I love you"? We need to know where we are in relation to that standard. Jesus' standard of loving included everything in a person's life: his loved ones and his precious belongings -- everything. Each person has a claim on his own environment, his family his country; and his world. All of that had to be abandoned, if necessary; in order to love Jesus; this was the clear-cut standard which the Bible records...

Suppose you went to heaven and God asked you, "How much did you love me while you were on earth?" Could you answer him, "Well, Heavenly Father, I wanted to love you but my wife prevented me"? Such an answer is not acceptable. You need to be sure while you are living that you are not only willing, but able to love God.

Standing in the Presence of God

November 7, 1982

The role of religion is to teach people to set their standard of love higher than the satanic world's standard. The religious man is one who demonstrates higher love than anyone in the world claimed by Satan. For the sake of God he can then deny the value of anything in the satanic world and thus recreate the value of everything in relation to God. As religious people, we should be triumphant to this way of love.

God's love will begin after we demonstrate our love, which is the very reason that Jesus said, "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." This is the true heart of God's Principle. We should become people who can demonstrate a greater love toward God and toward Christ than toward anybody else in the world, because at that point God's love will begin. By loving the Lord, men and women can surpass the point at which man fell and reach the level of perfection.

The Desire of All Things

June 17, 1977

Original love is far greater than worldly love. In this world, one man has stood up and said, "Love me more than you love anyone in the world." Anyone who could make such a statement must be the most extraordinary man in history. What that man is actually saying is that you should remove yourself from this world and find God's viewpoint in order to make a new beginning. If you tell God that you want to make a new start from the original point and make a new world, then he will say "Welcome, my child! I have been waiting for you. I need that kind of solution for this world." If God did not respond in that way, then God would be responsible for the problems. God will have to respond to such a person.

Jesus knew God as a personal God of heart, and he represented that love to the world, saying, "Love me more than anyone or anything else." Jesus' position was absolutely extraordinary. God welcomed Jesus entry into the world, but Satan held him back.

Parents, Children and the World Centered upon Oneself

June 5, 1983

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