Monday, 17 June 2013

Do You Love Me?

Jesus asked that of Peter 3 times. "Peter do you love me?....Feed my sheep"

So often I hear people say that they "love" Jesus, and it might be true. However Jesus knows whether we really love Him, or whether the "love" we have is all just talk and no action.

Isa 29:13  Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men

Last night one of the girls I work with said when WTC was hit in 2001, she broke up with her boyfriend the following week. The reason? She said she found herself thinking of all the people she loved, but her boyfriend was the furthest thing from her mind. She realized then that she didn't really love him, so she broke up with him. At first I thought this strange but I realize now that she was right to do this. She was being honest and so she did what she knew she had to do, she had to do what is right.

There are things that you do for the ones you truly love. There is a communion that you have, you would suffer and even lay down your life for those that you love. You would know if that isn't there. How much more would that be true of our relationship to Jesus? He likens our relationship to a marriage. What kind of relationship would it be if the husband did all the loving, and the wife only gave lip service? Would the marriage last?

Joh 15:13  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Joh 15:14  Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

I was brought up Seventh day Adventist, so these verses were always used to say "You see? We have to keep the Saturday sabbath to prove that our love is real." Is that really what He's talking about here?
No, that isn't what Jesus is saying here. That would be too easy, and if that were the case, the pharisees would have been His biggest supporters and truest lovers.

 Jesus laid down His life for the sheep. He died a vicious death why? Just for loving people, truly loving them, and being hated for it. How did He love them? He healed them of all manner of their diseases and told the hypocrites (the ones hiding behind their masks) the truth so that He could heal them of their hypocrisy. And how did they thank Him? You would think that they would love Him, and yet, when He was brought to the courts, even his closest disciples left Him. When He poured out His heart in Gethsemane, the ones who you would have thought would endure everything with Him, fell asleep! Then when Jesus went before the Jewish sanhedrin, the disciple who said he would never let Jesus down denied he even knew Him! That is the kind of love we have, the kind that Peter had, and the kind that I see all too frequently. It is a said love rather than a true love,  and I am ashamed of myself for being that weak. I definitely do not want to be comfortable in that weakness, and pretend to having "love" when I know it is all just talk.

I pray that the Lord would kindle His fire in me, and make my heart of stone into a heart that truly desires to do His will, to the laying down of my flesh.

 1Jn 3:16  Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 

No pretense of love or holiness will pass the test here. God desires our whole entire being. If we truly love Him, we would feed His sheep, the way He fed His sheep, even to the laying down of our lives as truly living sacrifices to the truth of His word, not caring whether people agree with us, or "love" (or say they love) us, but doing what Jesus did even if it gets us killed, but perhaps causes even one person to see the truth and become truly saved by God through any suffering we might suffer. That is true love. That is feeding God's sheep. Not fluffy words that get you "kudos" and empty words of comfort and praise that don't hold the forever test. Not things that stroke our egos into thinking we are something when we are nothing. How true is your and my love really? Can it go through the fires and endure the hatred of men and still all-the-while hold out hands to try to reach those who are lost? Or will we succumb to our flesh and come up with every excuse as to why God doesn't expect us to do that, and that He wants us to coddle our and each other's flesh. Loving our flesh....and each other's that the love Jesus taught us? Is that what the Bible says? If your Bible says that, it isn't the same Bible I have been reading.

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