First thing every morning, as part of offering The Apprentice Prayer, I say, “I love you Jesus!”
It’s a simple prayer, but said with a smile from my heart it makes a big difference. It reminds me to make all that I say and do that day as an expression of love for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
At Valentine’s Day we think affectionately about our significant other – or wish that we felt that way… or wish that we had a significant other! How about thinking of your Significant Other: Jesus Christ? How about sending a love note to Jesus?
There are a lot of things we say that we “love” – like chocolate cake! But really we just desire to eat it! Despite what our culture teaches us, love is not a matter of desire or feeling; it’s a choice and an orientation of the heart to will good for someone else, regardless of how you feel. When we love well then in time our feelings will be moved in positive directions.
But we can’t love in our own strength; we can’t will good for others just by trying hard. “We love because God first loved us,” the Apostle reminds us (1 John 4:19). We love by learning to rely on God so that his love flows into us and through us to others.
Ray Ortlund was my spiritual father for years before he passed on into glory. His spirit lives in me now. His enthusiastic devotion to Jesus and to bringing renewal to pastors and ministry leaders rubbed off on me. Ray taught me that worship is really very simple; it’s saying to God: “I love you because ______.”
How about writing Jesus a Love Letter? Or just begin to pray right now, “Jesus, I love you because _______.” Worship the Lord. Cultivate your longing for God so your soul can live and breathe in God’s kingdom now and forever!
To help you get started in expressing love from your heart to Jesus you may want to read a love note that I wrote to Jesus on Valentine’s Day a few years ago: “Jesus is Everything!” It’s a paraphrase from The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, one of the great classics of Christian Devotion, the best books (second to the Bible) that you can read.