Wednesday, March 3, 2010

"Do you love me?"

After Jesus appeared to His disciples in John 21, he singles our Peter and asks, "do you love me?"  

Love has more than one meaning when we are reading through the scriptures. For example, as expounded in a bible encyclopedia, 

"Christ’s interview with the apostle Peter on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias (Joh 21:15-18) sets before us in a most beautiful way the different shades of meaning as found in the New Testament words phileo, and agapao. In the question of Christ, "Lovest thou me more than these?" the Greek verb agapas, denotes the highest, most perfect kind of love (Latin, diligere), implying a clear determination of will and judgment, and belonging particularly to the sphere of Divine revelation. In his answer Peter substitutes the word philo, which means the natural human affection, with its strong feeling, or sentiment, and is never used in Scripture language to designate man’s love to God. While the answer of Peter, then, claims only an inferior kind of love, as compared to the one contained in Christ’s question, he nevertheless is confident of possessing at least such love for his Lord."

"Peter loved Jesus in the way the natural man loves a good person.  Yet that is nothing but emotional love.  It may reach deeply into our natural self, but it never penetrates the spirit of a person."  O. Chambers

Jesus asked Peter this same question three times, and I believe He is asking you and me the same question today. When asked the third time, Peter finally seemed to have gotten the point. "Do you love me enough to give me your life.  Are you willing to do anything?"  

If like Peter, you answer yes, then Jesus says, "feed my sheep...follow Me."

"Don't testify about how much you love Me and don't talk about the wonderful revelation you have had, just "feed My sheep.  Jesus had some extraordinary peculiar sheep; some that are unkempt and dirty, some that are awkward and pushy, and some that have gone astray!  But IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO EXHAUST HIS LOVE IF IT FLOWS FROM THE SPIRIT OF GOD WITHIN ME."  O. Chambers

I am reading an amazing book by one of my favorite authors, Warren Wiersbe.  In his book "10 Power Principles for Christian Service," he states, "Without love for the people {children} we serve, ministry becomes drudgery."  This is where I found myself a week ago. 

Our emotional love is not what the Lord is looking for. The emotional type of love can take us to Africa to adopt a child, but it is "agapas" love that will allow us to walk through the hard times.   

God is looking for people that will "feed His sheep" with a deeper "agapas" love.  A love that will do anything and go to any lengths to "follow Him."  A love that endures trials, persecutions, hardships and ridicule.

Please note, I am not saying that I have arrived or have been made perfect in "agapas" love. To be honest, Jesus recently took me aside and asked me, "do you love Me?"  And what He revealed was that quite often my love is mearly a "phileo" type of love.  I long, however, to be filled up and overflowing with agapas!


Anonymous said...

Love reading your blog...its really encouraging for me. God bless you guys sooo much. I love your hearts and to see how God is using you. Its so awesome. Take care...
Leah Lewis

Just A Family said...

Wow! I love your family blog.

Landslides anywhere near you guys?

Robin from Just a Family

patchworkmommy said...

Your post made my heart leap.That is how I want to live my life.God knows my deep desires but my flesh seems all too weak. It is kind of like I am reaching out to grab God's hand and move forward with him down the path he has but the other hand is too afraid of letting go of what is safe and comfortable. I enjoy your blog very much. So often you post what is going on in my heart and mind but I lack the skills to write it so I stick to posting about my goofy sewing stuff and come read your blog.


Christine said...

Nice post. I recently have been feeling the same way. Encouraging- thank you.

Leonis said...

We love reading your Blog. Its actually the first thing we read when we open the computer. Your pictures are a taste of heaven. We are so blessed by your honesty and love for God. Such a sweet love for Jesus spills over on all of us. Thanks for sharing!!!

A happy heart makes the heart cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:13 <><