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Loving Jesus: No Bells and Whistles

Loving Jesus: No Bells and Whistles, Adobe Spark ImageCan we fall in love with Jesus—no bells and whistles?

I love you.

When we say it to anyone, there’s no bells and whistles in the phrase per se.

Yet if we read between the lines through our personal lens about love, we often hear ringing and shrieking.

Sure, computers, electronic gadgets, appliances, and new cars glisten with added enhancements.

Retailers have the bells and whistles to match our wishes and wallets.

But when it comes to love…

Love plus fancy features doesn’t mean more love, but less of #love in its purest form. #Jesus Click To Tweet

Who Needs Bells and Whistles?

I was grown with children of my own the first time my biological father said, “I love you.” The telephone conversation is forever etched in my memory.

Still, as much as I wanted to hear my dad tell me he loved me, I needed to believe it. And the reassurance he meant it.

You know what? The same holds true today. My husband can never tell me—or show me—he loves me too many times. For Mike to reassure me of his love takes our relationship to a higher and deeper level. And in turn, I desire to reaffirm my love for Mike and my family.

Even my grandson, nearly two-years-old, knows how to say “love you” and blow kisses. No bells and whistles. Pure and whole-hearted affection.

Still, a crazy idea has floated around for years of spouses or parents with this attitude. “I told you once that I loved you, no need to say it again. If anything changes I’ll let you know.” How sad!

Loving Jesus: No Bells and Whistles, Adobe Spark ImageTired of Bells and Whistles? 

So what about when it comes to loving Jesus?

I love You, Jesus.

Because those words rise in my heart and roll off my tongue more often these days. Why? I’m not sure.

Perhaps Jesus is teaching me about a deeper love.

And maybe I’m tired of bells and whistles.

As with anything, when the shiny wears off, the thrill is gone.

With superficial #love, when the shiny wears off, the thrill is gone. #Jesus Click To Tweet

The year 2012 marked a spiritual milestone in my life—written in my journal. I decided to fall head over heels in love with Jesus, loving Him more than anyone or anything. Not only is this kind of love possible, but it’s the desire of God’s heart.

Bells and Whistles or Jesus?

2 questions to consider:

1) What’s the greatest commandment?

This question posed to Jesus. “And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39, emphasis mine)

Love Jesus with all

  • Heart- “The center of a person’s thoughts and emotions, especially love or compassion.”
  • Soul- “A person’s moral or emotional nature or sense of identity. The spiritual part of a human being.”
  • Mind- “The element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences, to think, and to feel; the faculty of consciousness and thought. A person’s mental processes, intellect.”

So, in essence, every part of me, my whole being, is to love Jesus. That’s the greatest commandment and the greatest love.

Loving Jesus: No Bells and Whistles, Adobe Spark ImageReal Love Instead of Bells and Whistles

2) Where does love originate?

1 John 4:19 says, “We love because he first loved us.”

Jesus loved us enough to die for us. But our motivation for falling in love with Christ is not out of guilt.

And loving Christ not for what He accomplished on the cross or what He can do for us in this present life. But because He loves us, we reciprocate.

In his book, Crazy Love, Francis Chan describes it this way. “Our love for Jesus always comes out of his love for us. Are we in love with God or just his stuff?”

To fall in love with Jesus and stay in love with Jesus means giving all of myself to Him alone. Not to the idols or other shiny gods of this world, but to Christ.

In fact, it should be the “norm.” Because…

Falling in #love with Jesus isn't radical #Christianity or a Jesus freak, but the heart of a true disciple. Click To Tweet

*All Scriptures ESV.

*Definitions for heart, soul, and mind from Oxford Dictionary online.

Images courtesy of Adobe Spark.

Sometimes I participate in these link-ups: Meghan Weyerbacher/TeaandtheWord, Lyli Dunbar/#FaithOnFire, Crystal Twadell/Fresh Market Friday & Crystal Storms/ Heart Encouragement.

© 2018 by Karen Friday, All rights reserved

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January 18, 2018 at 10:17 am | Uncategorized


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Thank you for these thoughts and insights about pure, plain love for Jesus. I really appreciate the quote about loving Him or His stuff!

Karen says:

Bethany, thank you. May we each be encouraged to fall in love with Jesus more than anyone or anything. It’s not radical or Jesus freaks, but the norm for true disciples. 🙂 We love you, Jesus!

Karen, your wonderful words here mirror my latest blog exactly. What a God-incidence! Taking inspiration from my granddaughter, I pose to the readers, “How many times do you stop what you’re doing and simply tell God you love Him?” Yes, we all need to fall head-over-heels in love with Him.
Blessings, my friend!

Karen says:

Martha, I love that our posts are similar. I’ll head over there now and read it. I pray that our love for Jesus transcends anything on this earth, leaving out all the bells and whistles, just pure, devoted, and undefiled love for Him with our whole being!

Becky Smith says:

I always look forward to your wonderful posts! I read Crazy Love several years ago, and learned so much from it. These are soul-searching words to pray & meditate on. I want a deeper love, with my whole being, for the One who is so worthy! But even in this, I am powerless & I need His help to change me, so that I will love Him purely & completely. Thank you for sharing!

Karen says:

Awe, thanks so much Becky. You’re a blessing! Your words are so true. In everything about the Christian journey from walking in the Spirit to living the crucified life, it’s only through the power of Jesus. And, yes, even in loving Christ deeply without the fluff or fancy or shiny things that superficial love brings. Help us, Lord, to love You more today than yesterday and more tomorrow than today.

Ruth says:

I think that, in our culture, it has become the norm in Christendom to expect God to bless us with bells and whistles, and to believe ourselves in our rights to be angry if He doesn’t deliver, or even worse, if He allows things to be taken away. We have definitely left our first love and need to get back to the foundation of being a disciple of a Jesus Christ, who loves us and wants to be loved by us.

Karen says:

I agree, Ruth. It’s not about me, but it’s about the One who said, “Follow me.” A love relationship with Jesus is the highest devotion on the planet. We really can be in love with Him more than anything or anyone. Not because of what He does for me or can do for me, but because He loves us…He went first. Blessings and thanks for commenting!

Ruth says:

Amen!
And, you’re welcome!
Have a great weekend! 🙂

I appreciate your post. Often I get caught up the emotionalism of corporate worship, singing him love songs. Seldom do I offer him pure, genuine love in word and action.

Karen says:

Thank you, Calvonia. I like your honesty and most of us can relate to your thoughts. It’s easy to be distracted. But Jesus calls us to a pure and undefiled devotion and love for Him like no other. Lord, give us the strength and power to love you. Amen.

Horace Williams Jr says:

What a heartfelt, sincere article Karen. For many years before the stroke, I lived for the bells and whistles. In fact, I surrounded myself with them. God had to strip away the bells and whistles which allowed me to see that He is all that matters. His love can satisfy the longing in my heart. From that point on, I have spent the last 7 years falling in love with Jesus. He continues to transform my heart every day. Thank you for sharing these heart warming thoughts. Your words spike to me. Have a wonderful week and may God continue to bless you and your family in the New Year!

Karen says:

Horace, thanks so much for the encouragement of your words and sharing your story. And, isn’t that the truth, Jesus is all that matters. In our culture, we use the words “I love….” to describe everything from food and sports to possessions and people. It’s not surprising a lack of deep meaning for love transfers into our relationships, even with the Lord Jesus Christ. The enemy hopes for this, too. But when we DO allow God to strip away the non-essentials, all that’s left is all we need. Jesus Christ himself. Blessings!

Lois Flowers says:

Karen, I appreciate how you point out that we’re supposed to love God with our whole selves, not just our emotions, and that the only reason we’re able to do this is because He loved us first. Glad to be your neighbor today at Purposeful Faith …

Karen says:

Lois, thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I like how you mentioned our “emotions.” God calls us to love Him on a much deeper level with heart, soul, and mind. It’s certainly more than surface-level-love that changes on every emotional high and low. The Lord helps us in loving Him fully this way. Blessings!

Rachel says:

Yes! ❤️ Love just happens to be my OneWord for 2018! Crazy Love was crazy good!! It spoke to me on so many levels. And I couldn’t agree more with your beautiful message! Thanks for sharing!

Karen says:

Awesome your word is “love” this year! 🙂 I plan to be more intentional on loving Christ not for what He accomplished on the cross or what He can do for me in this present life. But because He loves us, we reciprocate. Thanks for commenting!

Great post! It is amazing how many times Jesus demonstrates His love with bells and whistles especially when He chose to die on the cross. I mean the veil was torn to prove His love. I have been blessed with parents who tell me everytime they talk to me that they love me. I can’t imagine hearing it only once, but it is good to know Jesus tells you He loves you every day by being consistent in His love. It is true…Love is the greatest gift God gave to us and we give to others.

Karen says:

Thanks, Sheila. I appreciate you stopping by to comment. Your parents sound awesome in expressing and showing love. It is important. Glad Jesus’ love proved authentic to us and I pray to show my love to Him with pure devotion. One without all the bells and whistles of the world’s love. It’s certainly not true love. Blessings!

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