God is abundant in His love for us. Jesus loves us so much that He died and rose from the grave to save humanity. As constant as God and Jesus are in their love, we are flawed individuals that need to ask ourselves - Do I love Jesus?
Today's Devotional Scripture
Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these? "Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.” “Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him. Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.” “Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said. A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep. I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go.” Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, “Follow me." (John 21:15-19, New Living Translation)
Love Requires Action
Jesus knew that Simon Peter loved him, but He needed to test Peter's commitment. After all, isn't it the fisherman from Galilee who denies Jesus three times before the Lord is crucified?
It's interesting that this passage of scripture and others in the Gospels indicate that Jesus associates love with action. He is not talking about a mushy, sentimental love. Jesus is talking about sacrificial love.
It is a love, according to the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians, that "is patient and kind. not jealous or boastful or proud or rude, does not demand its own way, is not irritable, and keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."
This type of love is very demanding and if love = Jesus, then each of us may have a lot to explain to the Lord on the day of judgment. Jesus is patient and kind, but He wants to make sure we understand the cost of loving Him and others.
Feed and Take Care of Each Other
Jesus stresses the importance of feeding and caring for His sheep. Initiatives like Everyone A Chance to Hear (EACH) serve as a springboard for expressing our love for God and others. If we really love Jesus, our efforts to provide people with Good News and good deeds continue until the day that the Lord Jesus returns to earth.
We are talking about a very demanding love, which God and Jesus prepared us to handle by giving us the gift of the Holy Spirit. Maybe the question isn't "Do I love Jesus?", but "Do I love Jesus enough to share the salvation message with others, support their needs and be a constant example of His love?"
Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your Son to redeem us through his and your love. Help me to show that same love to those around me. Empower me to love even when I don't feel like it. Amen.
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