Read: John 21: 15-17
Reflect: With my whole heart, I believe that we, as Christians, make a number of mistakes and miss out on the joy prepared for us, because we “put the cart before the horse.” We get things out of order and try to DO for God before we have a true LOVE for God. I’m thrilled that Beth Moore put this chapter at the very beginning of her book. There’s no need for us to begin searching for His plans for our audacious living until we’ve accepted His lavish love for us fallen in love with WHO He is.
Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him. All three times, Peter answered, “Yes.” Then, Jesus told him something to do; feed My sheet, shepherd My sheep, and tend My sheep. See, our doing for Jesus was never to precede our relationship with Jesus.
Beth said it this way, “The love Jesus longs for is not just devotion. It’s also emotion. It’s not just volition. It is also affection. It is not just discipline. It is also passion. It’s not just routine. It’s also romance. And, not just for Christ’s sake but also for ours. Love is the catalyst. The holy cause and effect."
Respond: At the risk of sounding repetitive, do you love Jesus today? I can’t think of another way for us to move forward but to pause and think about this question. Again.
The Christians that have had the most effect on my life are the ones that exhibit a strong, outward affection for Jesus. Their actions don’t seem forced or ritualistic. They genuinely seem to love and adore Jesus; therefore, they are motivated to live for Jesus. At times in my life, I’ve had to confess that the answer to the “Do you love me” question was actually, “no.”
Could that be you today? There’s no guilt in Jesus. We get to be honest with Him. If you answered negatively, please take time today to pray for more love and affection for Jesus as your Savior. I know He’ll honor your prayer.
Renew: As you pray today, use David’s words in Psalm 63 as your guide,
“O God, You art my God; I shall seek Thee earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water. Thus I have beheld You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and glory. Because Your love is better than life, my lips will praise You. So, I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.” Psalm 63: 1-4
“God, you’re my God! I can’t get enough of you! I’ve worked up such hunger and thirst for God, traveling across dry and weary deserts. So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open drinking in your strength and glory. In your generous love I am really living at last! My lips brim praises like fountains. I bless you every time I take a breath; My arms wave like banners of praise to you.” Psalm 63: 1-4; Message version