Joseph M. Stowell in his book, Why it's hard to love Jesus, makes some great points. It is really a convicting book. I trust some of the quotes below will allow God to work in your heart.
Any addition to or subtraction from who He is, what He is like, and what He requires is a move away from Him. Ungodliness is not always about the really bad people. Sometimes it is about the really good people who are more restrictive than God. pp. 24-25
... a true love for Christ is not a responsibility but a relationship based on a love for Christ that consumes him. p. 63
"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life" (Proverbs 4:23). Love as a responsibility is about lifestyle. Love as a response is about heartstyle. God is not interested in our lifestyle if it does not begin with heartstyle. From God's perspective, lifestyle without heartstyle is no style at all. p. 63
Loving Christ is about living life at His feet, not about having Him sit with us at our table. Until we absorb that reality, we will be tempted to use Him, not love Him. p. 87
We have long forgotten that even our good works in the light of His holy presence are like trash (Isaiah 64:6). Yet we insist on parading them as a badges of honor. You and I could point out the times we have said no to temptation and yes to the really hard things He has asked us to do. But He is not impressed. Under the shinning spotlight of His holiness our desperate condition comes into view. p. 103
That's what Christ did for us. Broken, abandoned, and lost in the depth of our sin, we were dead in the polluted waters. The hand of the Master Redeemer plucked us out and crafted us into new creations. The hollow cells that sin craved within us now resonate with life sounds that glorify Christ. In turn, we fill our world with the unsurpassed harmony of His presence. p. 104
Christ knows we love Him by watching what we do with our lives. And we treat people is the first place He looks. p. 105
Think of walking through the mall and seeing a group of "alternative" teens approaching. As they get closer, you notice the arrogant swaggers and hair shaved on one side of the head and styled in red-and-orange spikes on the other. These teens have metal pierced into just about every conceivable place on their bodies, and their wrists are wrapped with leather bands sporting metal spikes.
What is your heart response? Do you pray as you walk by that someone will love them and lead them to Christ? Do you smile at them, hoping to let them know that someone our age really does care? Or does the revulsion in your soul win the day? pp. 114-115
From your "neighbors" in heavy traffic, to the neighbors next door, to the neighbors in the poorer sections of your town, to the most intimate "neighbors" who live under the same roof, Jesus made one thing crystal clear: Loving Him is about loving them. p. 119
Abiding in His love is also reciprocal. Vines and branches reciprocate in the relationship. The vine is the source of strength, supply, nourishment, and support. The branch bears fruit for the benefit and the glory of the vine. And the branch finds joy and satisfaction in fulfilling its purpose.
Christ teaches us that fruit is the sign that genuine abiding has taken place. When we stay in love with Christ in every choice, action, and attitude, we will be fruitful for Him and a source of blessing to others. For instance, choosing to love Christ by loving those who offend us triggers the fruit of forgiveness. That, in turn, glorifies His character and blesses those who receive forgiveness. p. 166
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