Today’s post is from my new book Love Like Jesus: How Jesus Loved People (and how you can love like Jesus). Last Saturday we posted Chapter 11: Guard Your Heart Like Jesus. Love Like Jesus is due to be published later this year.
Love Like Jesus: Go Deep Like Jesus
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.”
How Jesus Loved People
“Let us go on to the next towns,” Jesus said. Jesus loved people by going somewhere. He went to nearby villages throughout Galilee, teaching and helping and healing.
But what about before that?
What did he do to prepare himself — to teach, and to heal, and to love people?
How To Love Like Jesus
I confess, I’ve had many gods over my lifetime. For most of the time my kids were growing up, my kids were my god. Then when they left the nest, my wife was my god. Then basketball, then tennis, then my real estate portfolio, then my job. Of course, none of these things are evil in any way, but each was my very top priority at one time or another. Each had a place as the ultimate in my life, ahead of Jesus.
In our text at the beginning of this chapter, we see that Jesus left the house and found a quiet place, where he prayed. His friends went to look for him, and when they found him, they said: “Everyone is looking for you.”
If everyone were looking for you, where would they find you?
Would they find you away from the house, in a solitary place, praying, or reading God’s scriptures?
Or would they find you with family, or on the golf course, or playing your favorite online game, or on Instagram, or surfing Reddit, or watching football?
If people don’t find you going deep in your relationship with God, in the way Jesus did, people won’t find you loving people like Jesus did either.
Consider this: If the Son of God, the Savior of the world, the Messiah Himself carved out deep times with His God before serving Him, how much more do you and I need to?
A person will carve out time to spend with his god. The only question is: Who or what is your god? What is it for you? Is it shopping, or golf, or a video game, or Twitter, or Snapchat, or ESPN, or money? Whatever your god is, I’m guessing you carve out time for it, right?
Or is your God the same God as Jesus’ God? The way to tell is to take an honest look at where your time is spent, where your energy goes, where your money winds up.
Your God is where you invest yourself.
To love people, Jesus first loved his God, by investing himself in his God, in the morning, in a solitary place, one on one with Him.
For you it might be a walk alone in the morning (my personal favorite), or lying on your face on the floor in a quiet room, or before even getting up lying in bed to pray looking at the ceiling, or locking yourself in the bathroom (sometimes necessary — as a last resort). However you withdraw to your desolate place, the point is that before you can love like Jesus, you must love God in the way Jesus did.
To love people like Jesus do what he did. Go to a solitary place, be alone with God, just you and Him. Pray to Him, pray with Him, read His words written to you.
Then go and love people.
Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
Luke 5:16 (NIV)
Image of man praying by waldryano via Pixabay – labeled “no attribution required”