Jesus. Help us to love you. How often we say – ‘we love you’ – with no thought to what that means. It is so easy to say those words. Yet, were it not for your love for me it would be ridiculous to make such a claim. If I cannot love my wife properly – if I cannot love my children, my friends, a stranger, or my enemy – then how should I think that I can love you? To love your perfection. To adore your holiness. To extol your beauty. To worship your sovereignty. I should not love these, but hate them. I should hate your perfection because your perfection brings light to all my failures, your holiness reveals my wretchedness, your beauty unveils my ugly, your sovereignty magnifies my impotence. Who would want such a friend? Who could feel at home before your throne? I cannot say, “I love you, Lord.” Except that you first love me. I have too much pride, arrogance, anger, and unforgiveness. I cannot say, “I love you” – lest you, by your mercy, move upon my wretched soul.
Help us Jesus. Help us to love you. It is your kindness that moves us to repent. That such perfection would stoop to greet us, would leap and dance before us, would sing love songs to us, would bathe us and clothe us…this should shock our souls to love. Not that we have loved you, but that you have so wondrously loved us. We, who are vile. We, who are evil. We, who are proud. Help us, dearest Jesus…Help us. Help us to have a true affection for you, to rest in you, to recline ourselves in the love of Our Beloved. Move upon our wretched souls. Have mercy on our sorry state.
Help your church.
Filled with idolatrous inclination, proud of our success, full of our glory, clapping for ourselves. Help us.
Fighting for a Cause, we forget to follow you. Help us.
Preaching a crooked gospel of ‘rightness’, we forget and forsake the Gospel of Christ. Help us.
Proud in our morality, proud in our political point of view, proud in our global impact, proud in our theology. Help us, Jesus.
Jesus, Help me.
Help me to love you. Help me to stop worshiping myself for worshiping you. Help me to stop watching myself to see if am having ‘impact’, to stop inspecting my fruit to see if I am being good, to stop worshiping myself for worshiping you, to stop delighting in myself for delighting in you, to stop looking at you as my own personal spiritual mirror, whispering so that no one else can hear, “Jesus, Jesus, on the wall, Whose the fairest of them all”? Surely, You are not a mirror that I should use to judge my fairness. YOU are all that is fair. YOU are all that is good. YOU are all that is delightful. YOU are the Sovereign God. It is not your aim that we impact the world, dear Jesus, but it is your aim to impact our wicked hearts. Fall upon us. Break us. Forgive us for preening. Forgive us for posing. Forgive us for pretending.
Help us to say “I love you.” Help us to know what that means.