Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, Lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
We say that we love God but do we put that love into action? As I listen to people, I hear a lot of talk about what God can do for them or someone else but something has been bothering me. I hear people talk very little about what they as an individual can do for God. I'm not talking about ministers or missionary groups telling us what we can do for God. I am talking about we ourselves focusing on what we can do for God.
Sometimes, if this question does cross our minds, we start blathering about how we go to church each Sunday, attend a Bible study, say a prayer or two every day, read a passage of scripture and of course, throw some money in the offering plate. We then smile smugly, confident that this is a satisfactory answer to the question, "Lovest thou me?". Is it?
I've been thinking long and hard about this today and do you know what? I do not believe that is a satisfactory answer at all. I am certainly not suggesting that any of the above things are wrong. Indeed, I believe these are things which we should do but do these things alone demonstrate our love for God? I don't think so.
You see, in the Gospels, Jesus acknowledges that the Pharisees did all of these things and yet He calls them hypocrites and even vipers! Why? Because despite doing all of these things, there is no love present in their actions. How did Jesus demonstrate love? Through words alone? No. He demonstrated His love by becoming a servant.
Everyone loves to be served but not everyone wants to serve. God is not calling us to be served. He is calling us to be servants and when we do so with all of our hearts we are answering, "Yes Lord, I love you more than anything else!"