Cross Words: Love people to Jesus

By Isaiah Pauley

Love people to Jesus

That’s why I’m here. Let me explain.

At the end of my life, I don’t care if anyone knows my name. I don’t care if anyone remembers my work. I just hope people know Jesus a little bit more because of me.

Love is a verb. When we love people, those people see God through our love.

“No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us” (1 John 4:12 NLT).

John the Baptist is a great example of someone who loves people to Jesus. John doesn’t try to build his own name. He doesn’t have a “what’s in it for me?” mentality. He has a “what can I give?” mentality. John understands his purpose. He’s here to love people to Jesus.

“So John’s disciples came to him and said, ‘Rabbi, the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you identified as the Messiah, is also baptizing people. And everybody is going to him instead of coming to us.’

John replied, ‘No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven. You yourselves know how plainly I told you, “I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for him.” It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the bridegroom’s friend is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success. He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less’” (John 3:26-30 NLT).

I admire John the Baptist. He is one of my favorite people in the Bible. Like John, I want to celebrate the success of others. Instead of manipulating people into suiting my desires, I want to be a stage people can stand on.

Bob Goff writes, “Don’t build a castle when you can build a kingdom.” Some of us need to remember that we’re not building our own castles. We’re building God’s Kingdom. Together. By loving people to Jesus.

Loving people to Jesus isn’t easy. But it’s worth every second. Check out the rest of John’s story.

The Bible says, “John the Baptist, who was in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, ‘Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?’” (Matt. 11:2-3 NLT).

I see John in that jail cell. Teary-eyed. Confused. Doubtful. Wondering why in the world he’s sitting in prison for loving people. He even sends some friends to ask Jesus what’s happening.

“Jesus told them, ‘Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen—the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.’ And he added, ‘God blesses those who do not fall away because of me’” (v. 4-6 NLT).

In other words, Jesus reminds John the Baptist of his purpose. To build the Kingdom of God by loving people to Jesus.

You see why I like John so much? He’s not the most famous guy in the Bible. But he loves people to Jesus.

In fact, Jesus has something pretty awesome to say about John. He says, “‘I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is!’” (v. 11 NLT).

I know this isn’t the most glamorous message. But it’s true. In a culture obsessed with popularity, I just want to love people to Jesus. In a culture full of hate, I just want to love people to Jesus. Satisfaction lives here. The presence of God dwells here. And the reward in Heaven far outweighs every earthly obstacle.

I’m writing this because I love you. I pray you discover the love God has for you. Because once you discover His relentless love, you can’t help but love people in response.

By Isaiah Pauley

Isaiah Pauley is passionate about sharing Jesus in a simple way. Follow the journey of this young pastor at, on Facebook at Isaiah Pauley Page, or on Instagram @isaiahpauley.

Isaiah Pauley is passionate about sharing Jesus in a simple way. Follow the journey of this young pastor at, on Facebook at Isaiah Pauley Page, or on Instagram @isaiahpauley.