It’s Valentines week and our minds gravitate to the one we love. I think about the reasons I fell in love with John and continued to fall more in love with him over time. Love lists grows longer as you do life together: the beautiful (new babies), the stressful (moving & job changes), and the ordinary (brushing teeth elbow-to-elbow). Life lived as one.
This past year I started a new love list. It all began when I started thinking about a conversation I had with John’s mom. She told me how their pastor frequently prays over the infants he baptizes: “May the name of Jesus always be sweet to this child.” The phrase stuck with me.
I began to wonder if we had explained to our children WHY Jesus is sweet to us. Why do we love him?
I wondered if we had settled for a shallow answer.
Any husband or wife can simply answer, “I love my spouse because I am supposed to. They’re married to me.” Similarly, Christians can rattle off, “Jesus died for me. That is why I love Him.”
But, there is so much more to discover.
I decided to start re-reading the New Testament with this question framing every passage:
What do I love about Jesus in this passage?
It has been a treasure hunt. I am not done yet because the list just keeps getting longer. Along the way I am falling deeper in love with Jesus and who He was during His ministry on this earth. It is a way of thinking about Him that I had never discovered.
Read slowly and savor this sampling. It is a list for all of us.
I love Jesus Christ because…
- He came and lived among us. (John 1:14)
- He has made God known to me. (John 1:18)
- He came to us full of grace and truth (undeserved kindness and accurate information). (John 1:14)
- He gave us the right to become a child of God! (John 1:12)
- He didn’t come to give us what we deserve- condemnation. Instead He came to save. (John 3:17)
- He interacted with women and treated them with value. (John 4)
- He cared that the crowds of people who followed him were hungry and He did something about it. (Matthew 15)
- He didn’t distance himself from desperation and smelly people and broken bodies and grasping hands and tears and insistent voices or lack of respect for His personal space. He allowed it all to come near Him. He was approachable. (Matthew 14)
- He reassures us that the Kingdom of Heaven is an actual place where we should crave to be. (Matthew 13)
- He invites us to come to Him when we are tired and overwhelmed so that He can give us sweet rest. (Matthew 11:28-29)
- He became a curse for me so I’d be redeemed from my curse. (Galatians 3:13)
- He became obedient to death for our sake, even to death on a cross. (Philippians 2:8)
- He lived a life of love and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering & sacrifice to God. (Eph 5:2)
- He made himself a servant for my good, even though He is God’s Son. (Philippians 2:7)
- He gives us eternal life. (John 3:15-16)
- He is repeatedly generous with His time, His power, His “rights”, His provision, His protection, His attention, His love, His words of hope, His teaching, His purpose.
The reasons go on and on and on. And, with every new reason I find that I am falling more deeply in love with Him. The real Jesus. I know Him better than I did before.
There is nothing special about me. You can read the Bible and ask the same questions. Your hearts will beat faster as you realize there are endless reasons that His name is sweet to you. He is your forever valentine.
“We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
“Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” John 21:25
May your love lists grow and the name of Jesus always be sweet to your soul…