DO YOU LOVE ME?
The verse you are about to read describes the third time that Jesus had appeared alive after He had been dead for three days. It also recounts the three times that Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him. Imagine yourself as Peter for the next few moments.
"Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples, after He had risen from the dead.
The Love Motivation
So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John,
do you love Me more than these [others do—with total commitment and devotion]?”
He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You [with a deep, personal affection, as for a close friend].” Jesus said to him, “Feed My lambs.”
Again He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me [with total commitment and devotion]?”
He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You [with a deep, personal affection, as for a close friend].” Jesus said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.”
He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me [with a deep, personal affection for Me, as for a close friend]?”
Peter was grieved that He asked him the third time, “Do you [really] love Me [with a deep, personal affection, as for a close friend]?”
And he said to Him, “Lord, You know everything; You know that I love You [with a deep, personal affection, as for a close friend].” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep." John 21:13-17 Amplified Bible
The above passages beg to be chewed apart and swallowed as a multi-course spiritual dinner. Why would Jesus have to ask Peter (or me and you) if he loved Him three times? My thoughts takes me to one place and let me state it boldly and maybe at last my trophies I'll lay down. If I focus on my love for Christ, it becomes pride that blocks me from fully knowing His Love for me. We cannot do anything for Him in comparison to what He did for us. Greater is His Love within me than anything I can accomplish on my own.
The three questions Jesus asked Peter had a backdrop of Peter's three denials that he knew Jesus. It happened during a few moments of Peter being under pressure as his Friend was being arrested and was about to be tortured and executed. Nobody knows what they will do under pressure until they are under pressure. A deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming car freezes as it becomes paralyzed with fear. I've never spoken to Peter, but I can feel his fear and his remorse in the aftermath of denial. I may not have said the words, "I know Him not!", but some of my actions would clearly speak denial.
The action of opening our hearts to allow the love of Christ flow within us is greater than any human love that can flow out of us. The fruit of the Spirit comes from the Spirit. Peter experienced first hand the immeasurable power of forgiveness of God. The forgiveness given to us by God is shared forgiveness - extend it to all. "Feed my sheep."
DAY FOURTEEN WORD
Galatians 5:22-23 Amplified Bible
“But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us]
is love [unselfish concern for others],
joy, [inner] peace,
patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting],
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Against such things there is no law.”
Titus 1:16 Amplified Bible
“They profess to know God [to recognize and be acquainted with Him], but by their actions they deny and disown Him. They are detestable and disobedient and worthless for good work of any kind.”
John 21:19 Amplified Bible
And after saying this, He said to him,
“Follow Me [walk the same path of life that I have walked]!”
John 15:9-15 Amplified Bible
“I have loved you just as the Father has loved Me;
remain in My love [and do not doubt My love for you].
If you keep My commandments and obey My teaching,
you will remain in My love,
just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love.
I have told you these things so that My joy and delight may be in you,
and that your joy may be made full and complete and overflowing.
Disciples’ Relation to Each Other
“This is My commandment,
that you love and unselfishly seek the best for one another,
just as I have loved you.
No one has greater love [nor stronger commitment]
than to lay down his own life for his friends.
You are my friends if you keep on doing what I command you.
I do not call you servants any longer,
for the servant does not know what his master is doing;
but I have called you [My] friends,
because I have revealed to you everything that I have heard from My Father.
DAY FOURTEEN PRAYER
Thank you God for not ignoring my denials of you. Your Holy Spirit brings to my attention my own self-righteousness. I prided myself in doing things for you instead of giving you the credit for doing things through me. My actions in your name became trophies in my name. I denied you by making my worldly pursuits more important than you. Thank you for your forgiveness and wisdom. You have fed me, please help me feed your sheep. Amen.
DAY FOURTEEN DEEP THOUGHTS
- There is danger in pursuing the ways of well admired Christians. Pursue the fruit of the Spirit, not the ways of man. you were uniquely created by God to be unique in His fruit.
- Our fears will sink us beneath the waves in a storm. The trust we put in God will allow us to walk on water and have peace in our storms.
- God wants His peace to be in our hearts on earth, as peace is in His heart in heaven.