By Jun P. Espina | Last updated on February 10th, 2020 at 07:30 am
The real problem in this life is our great love for ourselves. We attribute all our laurels to no one but ourselves. God, in our natural experience, seems to be just another Grandpa in our trying times. We don’t see some big deal with Him. We don’t give God the honor and glory due Him as our Heavenly Father and Creator. Our mind and heart center on ourselves, on our money, job, or our relationships. Even in our deathbed, we call God only as an Emergency Assistant. We all have the great love for ourselves and less love for our God!
Great Love for God Versus Coldness Toward Him
Our natural coldness toward God, our Father, the Creator of heaven and earth doesn’t tone down even amidst the terrors of cancer or other symptoms of an early death. A loving man-God relationship, therefore, cannot flourish in our heart because of our kooky love for ourselves.
As a result, we would leave this life without hope of joining with God in heaven forever. Why, because we wouldn’t bring comfort living with God whom we neither know nor love. We are breaking His greatest commandment daily, and that is to LOVE HIM with all our heart, with all our mind, with all our soul, and with all our strength. We don’t care for Him the way we care for ourselves. We don’t love Him and for it, we break His heart! (cf. Mark 12:30)
Who Can Help Us Feel a Great Love for God?
Sad that because of our ignorance and unbelief in the Holy Scriptures, we will live a godless life for few years, and then die a pagan death in hell forever. God would not remember us anymore in the hour of death. Woe to our great love to ourselves; woe to our massive ego.
As Lucifer prided himself that he was greater than God who created him, so he became the devil. Great love to oneself is always a devil-inspired emotion and feeling and craving! Who can help us feel a great love for God, instead of a great love to ourselves?
Our Great Love for Ourselves is the Greatest Problem of All
There was a man considered very successful in business. He didn’t care about God. He didn’t know who God was. He didn’t know that God created him and was the owner of his soul. In his deathbed, he asked for prayer. To his visitors, he would use to whisper: “pray for me.” He didn’t pray himself, for he didn’t know whom to pray. He didn’t have a relationship with the God of the Holy Bible, the Father of Christ Jesus. He trusted in his money; he trusted in his health. But then his health worsened; his time to face his Maker came. Lost, his permanent place beyond would be hell, according to the Scriptures, because he didn’t love God—he had no slim interest with Him even though he could barely move his hand because of pain.
God said in Isaiah 42:8a: “I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another.” But this man grabbed away God’s glory and glorified himself instead to satisfy his gargantuan ego! Man’s great love for himself is the chief problem of all—our hero stopper in establishing intimacy with God!
Our Great Love to Ourselves and the Folly of It
Our Lord Jesus Christ taught us about the folly of our great love to ourselves versus our spiritual unpreparedness. Observe the following Scripture:
“God would not remember us anymore in the hour of death. Woe to our great love to ourselves; woe to our massive ego.”
Christ said that death will come like a thief in the night—when we are most unprepared. Loving ourselves more than God our Maker, is a big folly indeed. For God requires us to love Him in reality if we want to live forever in heaven with Him. Focusing thus on an all-about-myself life denies us entrance to eternal bliss, for we need to love God first, and love ourselves, second. (cf. Luke 10:27).
How to Love God More?
Loving God more starts with loving Christ Jesus (more) for what He had done on the cross for the forgiveness of our sin. The Gospel is the key in leading us to love Jesus Christ more as our Lord and Savior.
I didn’t know about the Gospel before, although I was a searcher of the truth after the death of my beloved father. I wanted to know more what would happen after we die. A classmate of mine shared to me just one verse in Hebrews 9:27, which enlightened me to inquire for more information like a newly born desiring for an increased feeding. It says that, “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment.” From this Scripture, I learned assuredly that there was life beyond, because of the phrase “after this comes judgment.” I thought it was impossible for God to pronounce a judgment on mere bones in the cemetery. Second, God’s judgment involves punishing, and not just a onetime punishment. Note Christ’s parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. The unsaved wealthy man “cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’” (Luke 16:24) This happened right after their death. The angels received Lazarus (he had companions, the angels, after his death!) and the unbelieving rich man immediately went down into the torments “in this flame” in Hades, which is described in the Scriptures as the “wrath of God.” In essence, God would judge only the living ones. There is life after death for eternal bliss or damnation. Curious, I started attending church until I met Christ Jesus by faith in my heart.
But why believe in Christ? One Sunday morning, I heard our preacher talked about our problem with God, which sinks on His holiness in the thick of our natural sinfulness. Given this enmity, we cannot enter heaven after we die. It is just impossible for the sinners to live forever in God’s city of holiness. To solve this sin problem, he further said, our Father God sent His Son Jesus to die for our sin on the cross—as our loving Savior! He quoted John 3:16 which says: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” As my trust in the Holy Bible as God’s Word began to seize my soul, so I received Christ in my heart by believing Him as Lord, Savior and God the Son. I believed when He said “that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
I love God more because I love Christ more. I will not perish in hell when I die, according to His promise. From my faith in Christ’s shed blood at Calvary came out my complete forgiveness as a sinful being from birth. Who won’t feel a deep love for Jesus who died to give me eternal life?
Our great love for ourselves hinders us from loving God more. But if we believe in what Jesus Christ did on the cross, we would learn to love God since He loves us first by redeeming our sinful soul (without asking our permission) through Christ substitutionary atonement. “We love, because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)