In the last couple of weeks I have been challenged on several levels. First, to intensify my prayer life. I've also been pushed on the subject of humility and service for the sake of Jesus. And, I have found myself drawn deeper into a passionate love for Jesus. Yep, there it is.
I'm not speaking of a passion for the "good teacher" Jesus, or the "spiritual master" Jesus, or the "friend of the lowly" Jesus. And I'm not talking about a passion to do more Kingdom work, although such passions are worthy of our best efforts. I'm talking about a passionate love for Jesus himself. Like my love for my wife, or my children or my grandchild, or mother or sisters, etc.--I have been drawn back into the feeling of love for Jesus. I have not been here for a while (I am sorry to confess).
Spending time with someone, telling them you love them, and sacrificing for that love will do this for you. Action for the benefit of the loved one will draw love from your heart. Like a dried old leather saddle, my soul has come alive with the renewing oil of God's nearness. And something in me must say very clearly, that I love Jesus.
I know this is a more sappy post than you are used to here, but this writer is a bit more sappy these days. I've caught myself weeping as I read of Him, or as I sing on Sunday morning. Just plain old sentimental love for Him.
Now I know--and I have taught over and over--that "love" is not a feeling, but a commitment. Well pardon my Lenten blubbering here, but sometimes the feeling of love can be pretty intoxicating and even necessary. I'd hate to have done my thirty-plus years of marriage so far with a love that was strictly cognitive. There is something about passion and feeling that is necessary glue in such a relationship.
And so, with the Psalmist I am confessing, "I love you O Lord, my rock and my redeemer."