Do You Love Me?
So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. ~John 21:15
A lady in Spain made the news when she chose a unique way to test her husband’s love. With the help of a friend, she feigned her own kidnapping and sent a ransom notice to her husband. When the police discovered that the kidnapping was a hoax, they asked the lady why she did it. “I wanted to find out what my husband would do for me,” she replied (Source: AFP News).
When we read a story like that, we shake our heads and think, "How sad." However, a story like this should provoke our thoughts regarding our love for the Lord. Our devotion this morning revolves around a major question: do you love the Lord? If you do, how much do you love Him?
We see the missing love.
Peter had backslidden terribly and was ashamed of his denial of the Lord on the night of His arrest. He felt an awful amount of shame and regret. He knew that he could not turn back the clock to reverse his ill behavior. He became distant to Jesus. So, Jesus beckoned him to come have breakfast with Him after a night of fishing. After they had eaten, Jesus asked Peter, “Lovest thou me?” Jesus knew that the love that Peter once had for Him was missing. Peter also knew that the fervent love that he once had for Jesus was missing. When love is missing, it is an indication that someone has moved from where they once were. It is an indication that priorities got rearranged. It is an indication that a relationship has been neglected. Missing love is noticeable. Missing love grieves the heart. Is your love for the Lord missing?
We see the mystery of love.
“Lovest thou me?” Do you love me? When love is missing, the party that is most hurt wants to know, “Do you love me?” “Do you still have that same flame and desire to be with me like before?” However, Jesus is being confrontational. He wants to know from our mouth whether we still love Him. If you do, why is it that you have not told Him so? If you do, why is it that you are nowhere to be seen? If you do, why are you distant from Him? Something's not right. “Lovest thou me?” As the Lord asks you the same question, how do you respond to Him?
We see the minimizing in love.
Peter said, “Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.” The word for "love" that Peter used was "phileo." It is a strong word for love but not the strongest. It refers to a brotherly love. It is a love that has a family sentiment attached to it. The strongest word for love is "agapao," which refers to the infinite and perfect love that God has. It is a love that has no limit or boundaries. It is sacrificial. It reaches to the highest heights and down to the lowest depths. Peter used a word that indicated that his love for the Lord was reduced down to a “brotherly level,” not a sacrificial, give-it-everything level. His love was minimized because he allowed interferences to enter in. His love was minimized because he allowed his pride to interfere with his need for restoration. Has your love minimized for the Lord?
We see the motivation for love.
We love the Lord because He first loved us! We love the Lord because we respond to His grace and mercy towards us. We love the Lord because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. We love the Lord because we want to do something for Him! We love the Lord because He is deserving of it!
Evaluate the depth of your love for the Lord. Has it declined to a level that is much less intense? Let today be the day in which you come back to the Lord and let Him know that you indeed love Him with a heart that is unreserved and desires to do anything for Him.
Have a love-inspired God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Esther 6-10