Out of Love for Jesus

This is the refrain that answers me when I’m weary and standing in the kitchen again to prepare another meal. Or getting up earlier than my weary body feels it can. Or staring another stack of paperwork in the eye and telling it, “I will conquer you, today!” I love my husband, yes, and I desire to serve him well. But, when the daily grind seems impossible, this refrain reorients my thinking and rebukes my grumbling heart: “Out of love for Jesus . . .” Pressing into a long, hard road requires a love that is greater than earthly love.

It is love for Christ that provides the grace to plunge into the hard things.

When Jesus invited His disciples to follow Him, that invitation included a personal cross and a choice. Basically, He was challenging them to consider what they loved most when He told them:

“And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:38).

We find this “cross” invitation linked to the choice to follow Jesus four more times in Scripture (Matt. 16:24, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23, Luke 14:27). The context of this invitation is love. What do we love most? Jesus puts “following Him” and “cross bearing” in the same conversation with choosing to embrace hard things; choosing the grand and eternal plan, rather than the small and selfish.

Jesus wants to pry our fingers from clutching our small agenda and our selfish plans—to see beyond and respond in love to the hard task ahead.

He challenges us to consider what we love most.

Peter pressed hard against the plan for the cross that Jesus kept before them:

[box]From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? (Matt. 16:21–26)[/box]

This is the challenge: “What do you love most?” Your life, the way you want things to go, your plans, your riches, your comfort, yourself?

What do you love most?

I’ve found it much easier to face a dirty kitchen that must be cleaned (again), or a day of care-giving, or another necessary long phone call (that includes being put on hold for forty-five minutes), or surrender of a good desire for the higher call of duty . . . when I challenge myself with the question:

What do you love most?

It is out of love for Christ that we can lay down our own agendas (even though they may be good) and embrace the hard requirements of another day of _______________________. (You fill in the blank.) Because this is what, in His sovereign will, He has given to us for this day. This assignment came from Him—so we fulfill the duties of this day out of love for Him. It’s as simple as that.

Are you a mom of a houseful of little ones? That is major care-giving right there and requires a constant flow of hard work and sacrificial service. Yes, you love those precious grimy fingers and faces—but to keep pressing in to the hard task, it requires more than love for those little ones, it requires the motivation of doing the hard work of mothering because of your love for Christ.

No matter what you face today, hungry mouths, an impatient employer, a demanding schedule . . . whatever you are doing, choose to serve others out of love for Christ. Step into that assignment and fulfill those duties because of love for your Savior.


  • Michelle

    I so needed to hear this in my season right now. I pray for y’all daily. I cannot imagine what y’all are going through, but your faith to see God in it all and to share that is so beautiful and I cannot thank you both enough!

  • Gail

    My heart goes out to you over and over. If prayers could heal, they would, if prayers could give you His strength, they would too. We know that only in the middle of God’s perfect will, can these prayers be obtained, so though I can not do any of these things for you, I CAN trust in the One who can. WE love you both so much and care deeply, more and more for all you have to endure. May His spirit lift yours every moment as you lay your burdens at His precious feet. I loved your insight in this message. Thank you so much! Many prayers ~

  • Pauline Butler

    This is the focus that carried me through the past four years in caring for my parents, Kim. I spent the majority of the past 15 months away from home caring for my mother whom the Lord took home early Mother’s Day morning. I know your love for Jesus will give you the strength to face each day, and I know His loving grace will continue to be sufficient through all the struggles. Continuing in prayer for you and LeRoy. Hope you can feel the hug that’s been sent your way.

  • Donna Doverspike

    Kim And LeRoy,

    My prayers daily for you both that God gives you the strength and ability to carry out his plan and the will he has for you both.


  • Julie Musil

    Thinking of you and LeRoy, and praying for you both. Thanks for teaching and encouraging us. Even challengkng is in the midst of this season in your life.

  • Ashley

    I was brought to this website from your book, Fierce Woman. I’m in a season of learning, and my husband has gone the way yours didn’t – depression, another woman, another life. While he still lives at home, it’s obviously a strained situation and hard on me and the 15 and 17 yr olds in the house with us, and maybe even hardest on the 22 yr old who came back from college early because she couldn’t function. I, too, miss my husband. And I embrace the requirements of loving God first, loving and ministering to my children, and praying my husband back into sanity because this assignment comes from God. Thank you for your ministry.

  • Susan

    Your message is wonderfully refreshing! I have been skipping around people (men and women) who teach and “preach” from their egos and imaginations. That does nothing for me. But reading your blog (and I’ve only read three entries so far) is like a breath of fresh air!

    Thank you.