Growing in Love for Jesus
When so many people are searching for their calling and destiny in life, the Bible makes it clear that the calling of every believer is to love.

Growing in Love for Jesus: The First Commandment

by Fia Curley
10/16/17 Teaching

In an era when the fast pace of life divides our attention among worthwhile activities, it can become increasingly challenging to set things aside to focus on the highest calling in life.

“You shall love the Lord . . . This is the first and great commandment.” (Matthew 22:37–38)

When so many people are searching for their calling and destiny in life, the Bible makes it clear that the calling of every believer is to love.

However, the love Jesus taught about is not just focused on the believer’s emotions. It is love that is walked out in wholehearted obedience and devotion to our King through living out Jesus’ instructions, for example, His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7).

“If you love Me, keep My commandments . . . He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me . . . If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word.” (John 14:15–23)

The Holy Spirit is restoring the first and great commandment to first place in the Body of Christ. He is calling us to our destiny to live in intimate relationship with God, knowing the depth and delight of loving and being loved by Jesus our Bridegroom King. No matter how weak or strong you feel, and regardless of your past or your personality, you can be ablaze with passion for Jesus.

Only by the power of the Spirit can we be supernaturally empowered to love God.

The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. (Romans 5:5)

His power enables us to live faithful lives, choosing to love Him fully with all that we are and all that we have. Even amidst family, ministry, and daily demands, it is still possible to grow in love for Jesus in every area of life through His strength.

You can love Him with all your heart.
We express our love to God by resisting emotions that are contrary to His will. Our emotions are a very important and powerful part of our life. They are God-given and can be used to love Him. To do this, we must diligently keep our heart focused and clean. We guard our hearts by refusing to allow our emotions to be inappropriately connected to money, positions of honor, wrong relationships, sinful addictions, bitterness, offense, and so forth.

You can love Him with all your soul.

We realign our identity, basing it on our relationship with God instead of on our accomplishments and the recognition we receive from people. In this way, our success is defined as being ones who are loved and chosen by God and who love God in return; this determines our personal worth. We are anchored in the truth of the Word as the basis of our success and worth rather than in our accomplishments, recognition, or possessions.

You can love Him with all your mind.
Our mind is the doorway to our inner man. It greatly affects our capacity to love. Much of our life occurs in our mind. When we fill our mind with Scripture and thoughts that inspire love for God, our capacity to love Jesus increases. If we fill our mind with wrong things, our capacity to love Jesus diminishes.

You can love Him with all your strength.
We are to love God with our natural resources (time, money, energy, talents, words, and influence). We express our love for God in the way we use our resources to help others, instead of using them primarily to increase our personal comfort and honor.

It is in this place of loving God through obedience to His Word, by the power of the Spirit, that we come into the reality of living the first commandment. As we obey, we cultivate passion for our King and encounter His love for us again. And here, in loving God and being loved by Him, we find our greatest calling and destiny.

Join us, and thousands of fellow believers, this December for Onething, our annual young adult conference in Kansas City. This four-day conference provides an opportunity to respond to God’s invitation to fulfill the first commandment through times of corporate worship, personalized times of ministry, prayer, and Biblical teaching from IHOPKC leadership. Learn more »

Fia Curley


    Fia Curley served on the NightWatch at IHOPKC for many years, participating in prayer, worship, and intercession from midnight to 6am. Currently attending college in New York, she enjoys blending her passion for prayer, worship, and journalism as she labors with the Lord to see His goodness revealed to families, government leaders, and immigrants from non-Christian nations.

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