Simply love Jesus is the idea that everything should start and revolve around loving Jesus.
We explain this idea through a four point cycle:
This idea starts with one question: “What does it mean to simply love Jesus?” We encourage Christians to ask this question so they will challenge themselves to love Jesus more because of what He has done to show us that He first loved us by dying for us and rising from the grave so that we can have an abundant and eternal life. (Rom. 3:23, 6:23, 5:8, 10:9-10, 8:39, 1 John 4:10, John 10:10)
"The first step to simply loving Jesus is understanding that Jesus simply loves you."
The more that we ask this question, the more we should desire to know who He is. Just as a relationship with another person requires us to intimately know that person, a true reflection of God's love for us should naturally lead us to want to know who God is (1 John 4:16, 1 John 4:8.) Not just as a sovereign King and Creator who is Lord over everything, but as a person who unconditionally loves us. (Rom. 8:39, Lam. 3:22-23, Psalm 136.)
We believe that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, there are many ways we can learn who God is as a person. Three of these are through prayer, reading and studying the Bible, and through serving others. The closer we are to Him, the closer He is to us (James 4:8.) The more we learn about who He is, the more we understand how to authentically love Him.
One of the greatest ways we can show God that we authentically love Him is by loving people. We believe that the Bible is abundantly clear that God loves all people (Titus 2:11, John 3:16, 1 John 2:2, Psalm 86:5.) According to Jesus, Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18 form one singular and greatest commandment.
"...love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength (mind)."
"...love your neighbor as yourself."
The more we authentically love God, the more we will sincerely love other people. Not just the people who believe in Jesus, but also the people who don’t.
"The closer I am to God, the greater my love for people will be."
This pursuit of loving others just as God loves us helps remind us of our purpose as a Christian which is to love God with everything we have so that we can love others and prepare the world for His soon return (Deut. 6:5, Lev. 19:18, Matt. 28:19-20, Rev. 22:20).
The reminder of our purpose as a Christian should excite us about not only what God wants for us, but what He wants to do through us and how He has a desire to use anyone who believes in Him to make His plan for the world become a reality. (Rev. 21:1-4)
Recognizing this purpose helps us see how small we are in comparison to His holiness, but equally joyful that He wants to include us in His plans.
Knowing we do not have what it takes to fulfill our purpose as a Christian using our own power, we surrender to the reality that the only way we can do this is when we are being used through God’s power.
"The more I seek Jesus, the more I need Jesus."
To be empowered by God requires us to know Him. To know Him requires us to desire Him. For us to desire Him, we need to ask one question which sparks a never ending cycle that this idea revolves around:
“What does it mean to simply love Jesus?”