I’m in a season of learning what it looks like to love Jesus simply because of who He is. I know this might sound a little strange or like I’m way behind the curve but stick with me for a moment. Cody Carnes released a song a few years ago called “Nothing Else.” The lyrics read like this: “Oh, I’m not here for blessings / Jesus, You don’t owe me anything / More than anything that You can do / I just want You.” More than anything You can do for me—provide for me, heal me, strengthen me, guide me—I just want You, Jesus. Those are powerful words, and they’ve been convicting my heart for some time now.
When we talk about the gift of Jesus, I think it’s so easy to talk about the gifts Jesus gives. And of course—that’s natural! We can’t physically see Him or feel the warmth of His hugs, so we do experience His love by reflecting on what He’s done for us. But the thought that has me challenged is that my love for Jesus and my longing for Jesus can’t come from what He does for me. It comes from searching the Scriptures to learn His heart. It comes from pausing to hear His still, small voice. It comes from the peace of simply sitting in His presence. It comes from the gift of knowing Jesus, Himself.
Picture a loved one in your life. Do you love them because of the things they do for you? Those things certainly help us feel love, but are they the reason you love them? We’re flawed human beings, but I think we can agree if we really love someone, we love them because we know who they are. We don’t love them because of their actions, and our love doesn’t fall away the minute they stop doing something for us. I’m learning to apply this same love to the Lord. He has done so much for me! He’s done everything. But is that why I love Him? Or do I love Him because I know Him deeply?
This Christmas season, I’m practicing receiving the gift of Jesus, not just the gifts Jesus gives. I’m asking the Holy Spirit to open my heart “to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is” (Ephesians 3:18, NLT). I’m longing to experience Christ’s love though it is too great to fully understand so that I may be made complete (Ephesians 3:19, NLT). Don’t misunderstand—I’m still asking the Lord to open my eyes to see all He has done for me. But I don’t want to become dependent on those gifts to understand or experience the love of Christ. I want to love Jesus because I know who He is.
Would you join me in receiving the gift of Jesus this Christmas