“I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbors as myself. This is more important that to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.” — Mark 12:33
Illustrator/painter Gustave Dore, one of the founding members of the DreamWorks team of Spielberg, Katzenberg, and Geffen, was handed a painting of Jesus just finished by one of his art students. Asked for his opinion on the painting, Dore studied it, his mind searching for the right words. At last he handed it back to the student.
“If you loved him more,” he said, “you would have painted him better.” The same could easily be said for our lives as a whole: If you loved him more, you would have lived a life more like the one he lived.
The way we live displays the level of love we have for Jesus. If we love him casually, we are content with an “adequate” life. But if we love him deeply, we live for him with passion and intensity. We will be naturally motivated to improve the example of Christ’s love that our lives set for others.
Following Jesus truly is a matter of the heart. You can follow him half-heartedly and just go through the motions. When you do that, you reap the minimum of benefits. But when your heart is wrapped up in him, you long to study his life and to spend time with him. When you fall in love with Jesus, you are blown away with each new thing you learn about him, and you make decisions that give him an ever-increasing place in your life. When you do that, you receive every blessing he meant for you to have.