Lovest Thou 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 manipulated 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 the one just mentioned, we may shake our head and think, "How sad." However, a story like this should provoke our thoughts regarding our love for the Lord and how we demonstrate it. Our devotion this morning revolves around a major question: do you love the Lord?
We see the missing.
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 grief, 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 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 have gotten 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.
“Lovest thou me?” Do you love Me? When love is missing, the party 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 with us. He wants to know from our mouth: do we still love Him? If you do, why have you 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? There’s something not right. “Lovest thou me?”
We see the minimizing.
Peter said, “Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.” The Greek 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 Greek 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 to a “brotherly level,” not a sacrificial one. His love was minimized because he allowed interference to enter in. His love was minimized because he allowed his pride to interfere with his need for restoration. Has your love been minimized for the Lord?
We see the motivation.
We love the Lord because He first loved us! We love the Lord because we are responding 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? Let today be the day you let Him know that you indeed love Him with all your heart.
Have a love-inspired God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Job 5-7