When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. John 21:15-17 (NIV)
Loving you is not theoretical. Loving you is quite practical. Loving you is not passive. Loving you requires action. This sounds odd, I know. What do you mean by all of this? Here is what I mean. I love you. My love for you motivates my desire to do what is pleasing to you. Because I love you, following and serving you is not burdensome to me. It is my delight to go and do what you ask of me, because I love you with all my heart and mind and soul and strength. So, love is active. My love for you is demonstrated by my obeying your commands. Out of my love for you flows all that I will ever do for you. That is very good.
Wouldn’t it be crazy if I said that I loved you but never did what you asked of me? What kind of love would that be? It would be no kind of love at all. Wouldn’t it be silly for me to try to figure out what might be the minimum requirement of loving you? That would not work, not at all. Why is that? You know. Yes, I know. But I want to hear you say it. You continually take me deeper with you and ask for more from me. It is as if I have many ongoing opportunities to affirm and reaffirm my love for you. Sometimes, it feels as if you are asking, “Will your love for me motivate your desire to do even “this” or “that” for me?” Guess what. What? It feels that way because that is exactly what I am asking and will keep on asking you. Sometimes, the “this” or “that” you ask me is scary. How so? You ask me to do what I am not able to do. Why do suppose I do that to you? You want me to draw nearer to you. You want me to rely more fully on you. You want to do in and through me, what only you can do. Will you come to know and love and follow and serve me more fully as you rely more completely on me? Yes Lord, I will. That will be very good.
Lord, you know I love you. Loving you is passionately motivating my desire to follow and serve you. Obeying your commands is not a burden to me. It is the joy of my heart to go and do what is pleasing to you. Use me in your service. My life is in your hands. Amen
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