Do You Love Me? Jn. 21: 15-17

That’s a good question: “Do I really love God? From my heart? And how do I prove I love Him?”

I was thinking about when Jesus reinstated Peter after Peter denied Him. He did so within the framework of love. He did not list all Peter’s mistakes or good deeds. He didn’t talk about second chances. He didn’t even ask if Peter believed in Him. Instead, He asked Peter, “Do you love Me?”

Jesus was asking not about programs, accomplishments, duty, prestige, leadership, zeal, beliefs, or even sincerity. He was asking about love. I think He is asking the same question of you and me every day.

God proved He loved by giving. ”For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. . . “ (Jn. 3:16) He has given Himself for you and to you. We are talking about the God of the universe who is super intelligent, ultra-powerful, can do anything by just saying a word – the most attractive and enchanting Being that exists. This God loves you so much that He spoke His love; then He proved it.

If you believe God, confess your sins, open your life and invite Christ in, you belong to Him. You are part of the Bride; He is the Bridegroom. So, how do you prove you love God back? I have often asked myself that question, too. Jesus gave a way to measure your love for God. Let’s spend a few minutes on this.

Someone says to you, “I love you.” If you are wise, you are going to expect a little more than words. Words don’t prove the heart. Actions do. So you are going to also wait and watch. The proof of love is in what a person does, not in what they say. That is true also for your love back to God. Jesus put it in simple terms. He said, “If you love Me, you will obey Me.” (Jn. 14:15) He is saying your love is only credible – believable – if you show it by what you do. In Deut. 11:22, it says, “. . . carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow – to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to Him, and to hold fast to Him. . . “ Holding fast to God is pinning yourself to Him. So, loving God is choosing to stick like glue to Him in every thought, word, attitude, and deed. You do that by using your will to make decisions all day every day that align your life with God’s Word. Mk. 12:30 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” With your “everything.”

So to truly love God deeply:

  • Starts with surrender to Him in everything. (Phil. 3:8)
  • Is a choice to be dead to yourself and alive to Him. (Rom. 6:11)
  • Is becoming a “living sacrifice.” (Rom. 12:1)
  • Is taking care of His interests over your own interests. (Phil. 2:21)
  • Is making decisions all day long to trust God and to obey Him no matter what your feelings are doing or how difficult your circumstances are.

Now, that little list proves you really do love the Lord!

Jesus loves you and proved it. Enjoy His love. Curl up in it by faith. Yet, don’t stop there. That is a child’s response to love. Grow up in your love for God: love Him back. And prove it by how you live.

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