How do I really know I love Him?
This question was prompted into my soul the other day after finishing my Bible study lesson. The lesson encouraged us to serve others in love, to be ourselves in service the way we are when we are bursting with love for Christ.
I found it a profoundly complicated revelation. That is why it evoked such a sobering question.
Humans are sensory creatures. God equipped us with five senses…or six, I’ll let you decide : ) When I think about how to discover my own love for Christ, I cannot help to associate love with my senses. Even though I cannot see Him or touch Him with my human eyes or hands in the material realm, when I think of my love for Him, I have to put it in material terms so I can perceive it through my being.
That is why one of my most memorable and sensory experiences of God’s love for me was a few months ago at our Church’s Women’s Retreat. We did a study called Café Chocolat, and it was a delight for the senses. It truly was 24 hours of experiencing God’s love through the smell, the taste, the touch, the sight and even the sound of chocolate! I can honestly say that at that retreat I was able to taste Grace, and it tasted just like Hershey Kisses… (if you have an opportunity to do this study, “Café Chocolat,” please take it and do it. You will love it…unless, of course, you have an aversion to chocolate : )
The point is that when the question, “how do I know I love Jesus?” popped into my mind, in order to discover my answer, it helped me to think about it in material terms.
What I discovered was that I do love Him, intensely!
How and when do I discover my intense love for Him? Like the poem says, “let me count the ways…”
One of the main time/places I discover my love for Jesus is in worship. When I sing His praises in humility for what He has done, my heart melts as music reminds me of His own love for me…little, sinful, out of control, old me.
As the needy woman that I am, my cup overflows with love for Him when I see Him as my Rescuer, my Deliverer, my Prince, my Knight in shining armor, my Redeemer, my Savior. I cannot contain the emotions in my chest when I realize His hand is extended toward me, ready to grab me every time I stumble…every time I fall. When I remember that His Name is Faithful, I am filled with unstoppable love.
I love Him because He is in me. He is the air I breathe. He is my sustenance. He nourishes me with the sweetness of His Grace which He offers to me in abundance. He is the eternal spring that quenches my thirst with living water. I am nothing without Him. He is my identity and my destiny. My worth is in Him. He keeps me close to Him. He has my name written on His precious palm. He shed His blood for me and called me to be His own.
How do I know I love Him? Because He first loved me…(1 John 4: 19)
How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1806 - 1861
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.