Intersection of Life and Faith

10 Ways to Say "I Love You, Jesus" in 2019

  • Cindi McMenamin Author
10 Ways to Say "I Love You, Jesus" in 2019

Would you like this next year to be different? Better? Less self-filled and more Spirit-filled?

I’m with you. And I can’t think of a better way to improve the next year than to cultivate new habits so we can love God more with not just our words, but our lives. Scripture exhorts us in First John 3:18 to “not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.” I believe that instruction is not just for how we are to love others, but for how we are to love our Lord and Savior, as well.

Jesus implied there would be those who claim to love Him and follow Him, and those who actually do when He said: “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15). Whether you call them spiritual resolutions, goals or new habits, here are 10 ways to say “I love You, Jesus” over the course of this new year.

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  • 1. Put Him First.

    1. Put Him First.

    Slide 1 of 10

    When something exciting happens in your life, who do you tell? When you get discouraging or stressful news, with whom do you share it first? Your spouse? Your parent? Your best friend? When Jesus is first on the list, it says to Him that He is first in your heart.

    Cultivate a closer connection with Jesus by going to Him first with everything on your heart and mind. Of course, He already knows everything you’re going to say. But by telling Him first, you are reaffirming to Himand to yourself –that He is the single most important One in your life. 

    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock

  • 1. Put Him First.

    2. Tell Him First.

    Slide 2 of 10

    When something exciting happens in your life, who do you tell? When you get discouraging or stressful news, with whom do you share it first? Your spouse? Your parent? Your best friend? When Jesus is first on the list, it says to Him that He is first in your heart.

    Cultivate a closer connection with Jesus by going to Him first with everything on your heart and mind. Of course, He already knows everything you’re going to say. But by telling Him first, you are reaffirming to Himand to yourself –that He is the single most important One in your life. 

    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/fasphotographic

  • 1. Put Him First.

    3. Take Him More Seriously.

    Slide 3 of 10

    In John 14:23, Jesus said“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him” (NASB). And 1 John 5:3 says, “And this is what it means to love God - to keep His commandments.”

    Do you know God’s Word and keep it faithfully? Or do you consider it a little outdated and not in keeping with the times? In any love relationship, we take note of what our significant other loves and we try to emulate that. We also become aware of what they don’t like and we try to avoid those things. God’s Word tells us very specifically what God loves—obedience, a cheerful giver, a humble heart, a broken spirit, and so on. Scripture also tells us in Proverbs 6:16-19 what God hates: prideful eyes, a lying tongue, murderous hands, a scheming heart, feet that run quickly to evil, a false witness, and one who causes dissention between friends or family. Get to know what God loves and cling to it. And get to know what He hates and avoid it all costs. That’s taking Jesus seriously and saying with your life, “I love You, Jesus, and I’m not just all talk.”

    Photo credit: ©Unsplash/AaronBurden

  • 1. Put Him First.

    4. Trust Him Fully.

    Slide 4 of 10

    Scripture defines faith as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). That means we don’t have to have the answers in order to trust God. We trust Him for what we do not yet see.

    Things will happen this year that you will not understand. To trust God fully is to say “God, I know You are good and while this doesn’t look good to me, I trust that You know what You’re doing. Help me to grow through this and become all You want me to be through this struggle.” Oh, how that touches the heart of God, and shows Him that you love Him. Of course, this is easier said than done. So, put a verse like Jeremiah 29:11 or Romans 8:28-29 in front of you so you will remember it’s all about Him, not you, and therefore, it’s all a matter of trusting Him more.

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  • 1. Put Him First.

    5.Thank Him for Everything.

    Slide 5 of 10

    Every father loves a grateful child. How much more does your Heavenly Father love when His children are grateful for all things—not just the good things? When you and I become grateful for everything—even the unpleasant, disappointing and disastrous things in life—we are not only being obedient, but living out God’s will for us. That’s right. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us “in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

    Rather than spending the year trying to determine God’s specific will for you, be a person of gratitude in everything and you will become His will, glorifying Him among everyone you encounter. What a gift to His heart. 

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  • 1. Put Him First.

    6. Tame Your Tongue.

    Slide 6 of 10

    Do you know people who say whatever comes to their minds without thinking about whether or not it’s appropriate, helpful or positive? Are youever guilty of that? I know I am. Yet that impulsive behavior is indicative of a child. No filter.  Anything goes.

    Out of love for our Savior, let’s be people who don’t have to comment on everything this year (verbally or online). Let’s instead be mature people who are okay without having to speak into every situation. Practice Ephesians 4:29, which says “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such aword as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” By making sure everything that comes out of your mouth is positive and helpful, you are saying “I love You, Jesus, enough to control what I say and how it comes across.”

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  • 1. Put Him First.

    7. Choose Jesus Over the World.

    Slide 7 of 10

    You may think you already have. But my, how we love the world and don’t even realize it. First John 2:15 says “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

    To love the world is to crave its recognition, to seek its approval, to want to fit in and be in the “in crowd” with all that is hip. But to truly love God, you will care only about His opinion, His approval, His pleasure. Fear disappointing God, not people and what they think of you. It’s another way to say “I love you, Jesus” with your life. 

    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/georgemuresan

  • 1. Put Him First.

    8. Love the Unlovely.

    Slide 8 of 10

    Jesus said the greatest command was to love Him above anyone else, and the second greatest command was to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). Jesus knew how very highly we would think of ourselves, and how well we would treat, feed and pamper our bodies. So, Jesus told us to treat others with the standard we had for ourselves. That’s convicting. Is anyone else as important as we are?

    Pray for eyes to see yourself—and others—as God does. Pray for opportunities to love those you wouldn’t ordinarily spend time with. To listen to those outside your social and economic circle. To smile and offer your coat or a helping hand or a lift of those groceries in the name of Jesus. Others will know of your faith by your unconditional love. Do others know you love Jesus simply by how you treat them? 

     

    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/JessicaRuscello

  • 1. Put Him First.

    9. Stop Worrying.

    Slide 9 of 10

    When we fret or worry, we are, by our actions, saying to God that we don’t think He can handle what concerns us. 1 John 4:18 says “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” In other words, when we love God perfectly, we will trust Him immensely. And where there is immense trust, there is no room for fear, worry or anxiety.

    Philippians 4:6-7 instructs: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” When we do this, Scripture says we will experience the peace of God, “which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus”(NLT). So, to pray instead of worry is not only obedience, but it is showing God our love for Him.

    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/p_ponomareva

  • 1. Put Him First.

    10. Love and Forgive That Person Who Has Offended You.

    Slide 10 of 10

    Scripture is clear on our mandate to forgive: “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen…. the one who loves God should love his brother also (1 John 4:20-21). Furthermore, God’s Word tells us: “The one who does not love his brother is not of God” (1 John 3:10).

    Get rid of your resentments. You simply cannot live in a love relationship with God and hold bitterness in your heart toward someone else, regardless of what they have or have not done. The point is not whether or not they have asked for your forgiveness. The point is that while wewere sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). God has forgiven you and He loves you. Therefore, He insists that you forgive and love others.

    Cindi McMenamin is a pastor’s wife, Bible teacher, and national speaker who helps women and couples find strength for the soul. She has authored more than a dozen books including, When Women Walk Alone, (more than 130,000 copies sold), Drama Free, which helps women put Christ in the spotlight instead of themselves, and her newest release, 12 Ways to Experience More with Your Husband, which will help others see Christ in your life and marriage. For more on her ministry and free resources to strengthen your soul, marriage, or parenting, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.

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