Do You Love Me Peter, More Than These?

YAHSHUA’S challenge to Peter is a challenge to each one of us who loves the Lord. Our love for Him is challenged every time we see an orphan child and a hungry widow, a homeless and hopeless person chained up by drugs and other habits. Yes, when we close our eyes to the needs of people, we close our eyes to loving the Lord. We say we love Him in the comfort of our home, in the comfort of the church pew, giving a sum of our income, and letting the church do the love thing. Our Lord requires an individual love and not a collective love for Him. He calls us individually from the time we are born. It is not a walk of comfort and pleasures. But it will be a walk where peace abounds in the hearts of those who hear and receive the call; it will be a road that will take us upward to relationship with our Lord, day by day with the fragrance of His presence ever growing stronger the closer we get to Him.

Today, He asks us the same question in relationship to the things we have: our electronic toys, house, car, jobs, etc. Do you love Me than these? “Feed My sheep.” A term that implies command. If you and I are His children, we have no other choice, but to obey Him. That’s a challenge we must not ignore to have a fulfilled Christian life and a love that will endure any persecution we will face, as many are suffering for the love they have for Him.  YAHSHUA brought Peter in relationship with Him by challenging his love for Him. Peter’s heart was tender toward Him, when his eyes met YAHSHUA’S eyes at the time of YAHSHUA’S trial, as he remembered YAHSHUA’S words, Before a cock crows, you will deny Me three times. When it happened, he cried bitterly, sorry for what he had done (Luke 22:34). YAHSHUA reinstated Peter after challenging his love for Him by saying, Feed My sheep, follow Me! There was much was for Peter to do in God’s plan, but only with devoted love; Love that would not deny Him, nor abandon Him in hard time.

Saul, Saul, Why are you persecuting me?

Unlikely Peter’s, Paul’s love for God was challenged while he was on the road to Damascus in order to persecute the Christians; a group of people he hated for following YAHSHUA. On that trip, YAHSHUA came to him in a light that blinded Paul for three days. He spoke through that Light saying, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? Here we have the Lord challenging Saul’s wrong way of loving Him. As a Pharisee, Saul’s zeal for the Law was not in any way, shape or form representing God’s love. It showed, instead, hatred for His Son, YAHSHUA. After that encounter with the Light, Paul’s life was changed. No longer a persecutor of people who loved YAHSHUA, or YAHSHUA Himself, but one who loved Him unto death. His love for God was demonstrated in the manner in which he suffered continually at the hands of those who were religious as he was in the past. His letters to the churches show such love. He had been crucified with the Lord YAHSHUA and that was beyond doubt. He said, to this hour, we have gone both hungry and thirsty; we wear but one undergarment; we are roughly around homeless; when men revile us, we bless them; whenever we are persecuted, we take it patiently and endure it; when we are slandered and defamed, we answer softly and bring comfort; we have been made and are now the rubbish and filth of the world (I Cor. 4:11-13). Paul’s determined purpose, he said, was to know YAHSHUA; He said, For the love of Christ compels us, because we are of the opinion and conviction that One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, so that all those who live might live no longer to and for themselves, but to and for Him Who died and was raised again for their sake (II Cor. 5: 14-15).  He described the true meaning of God’s love this way: love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily; it is not conceited; it is not rude and does not act unbecomingly. Love does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it; it does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail; love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything; love never fails (I Cor. 13:4-8a). That’s the perfect love that comes from God. Loving Him with the love He has given us is of great reward. John said, We love Him because He first loved us (I John 4:20).  He is the essence of true love; without Him loving us first, we would not know how to demonstrate His love to Him or to others. Love is like a river, flowing comfort, nourishment to those in need of it, sparkling the beauty of unselfishness; as YAHSHUA set the example, let’s love Him with the love that He showed us when He died on that cruel cross, paying our debts and setting us free! Let’s renew our love for Him today!

Author: Jacinta da Cruz Rodgers

I have been committed to teaching the truth of the Word of God beginning with Trans World Radio on Bonaire, N.A and Swaziland, Africa (1969-1980), then through churches in the United States in both English and Portuguese and then through ministry in Israel (2005-2006). This ministry continues through local Bible studies and outreach to the world via the internet. I have written a book about my life from that of an orphan in Brazil to missionary in 5 countries. You can find out more on the "Book" page of our blog site.

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