Thursday, March 1, 2018

Oh .. How Do You Love Jesus? Is He Your Brother Or Is He Your Lord?

Do you love Me? —John 21:17

{CHAMBERS} “Peter’s response to this piercing question is considerably different from the bold defiance he exhibited only a few days before when he declared, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” (Matthew 26:35; also see Matthew 26:33-34). Our natural individuality, or our natural self, boldly speaks out and declares its feelings. But the true love within our inner spiritual self can be discovered only by experiencing the hurt of this question of Jesus Christ. Peter loved Jesus in the way any 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 to the spirit of a person. True love never simply declares itself. Jesus said, “Whoever confesses Me before men [that is, confesses his love by everything he does, not merely by his words], him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God” (Luke 12:8). […] When the Lord asks us this question, it is impossible to think and respond properly, because when the Lord speaks directly to us, the pain is too intense. It causes such a tremendous hurt that any part of our life which may be out of line with His will can feel the pain.”

{ELGIN}  Peter was willing to “leave his nets” for Jesus.  That was one level of sacrifice.  But to be identified with Jesus when that identification meant that his life … his security … his acceptance by others would be in danger .. well that was quite another. Peter thought that his following was enough.  But, Jesus demands much more.  To that point everything Peter had done was with Jesus.  When Peter was on his own, he was in trouble.  It was not until Peter received the Spirit of God was he able to do what he thought he could do on his own, but could not .. he failed miserably.  Read Acts 4:8-13.

It is the same for each of us.  We love God, no question.  But, when we are faced with difficulty, and we very often choose to trust in ourselves … we fail miserably.  Just like Peter.  (Galatians 2:20) “I [you] have been crucified with Christ and I [you] no longer live, but Christ lives in me [you]. The life I [you] now live in the body, I [you] live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me [you] and gave himself for me [you].”  We are working with a woman whose life is filled with fear.  She struggles under the load of the adversity she has had and still has.  She tries to control what goes on around her … she really trusts no one … because she has not known anyone who is trust worthy … I point her to the Lord each day I see her.  I can’t change her mind or her heart .. she must decide to trust God, yield to His Spirit, and then, perhaps, she will have discernment so she will know who she can trust.  I would like to think that her struggle represents the exception, but I suspect her way of coping is much more common .. perhaps even prevalent, even among Christians.  What I can do is let her see Jesus in me … to show her the love of Jesus … (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”  Is there someone in your life that needs to see Jesus?

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