Do You Love Me?
"Yes, I love you, God!" And then He says to me, "then feed my sheep." If I love God the way I say I do then I have to show Him.
John 21: 17 "The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you. Jesus said, “Feed my sheep."
Jesus did not ask Peter if he was sorry. He challenged Peter to love. He restored Peter in front of the other disciples by making him face his failure. Then Jesus challenged Peter to move forward setting his eyes on the work ahead.
The Lord knew that His questions would grieve Peter. He knew that we have to grieve over our sins to be restored and be able to be of service to Him. Matthew 5: 4, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Jesus died on the cross for you because He loves you (Gal. 2:20). He desires your love in response to His great love for you. Sound doctrine is not enough. You have to have a growing relationship with Jesus. Jesus asks each of us, not for our best behavior, not for repentance but to love. If we love Jesus the rest will fall into place.
By loving Him we have to tend His sheep. Some sheep can be unresponsive, unappreciative and critical to us leaving us defeated and discouraged. But with the love we have for Christ, it will enable us to love His children. Even the difficult sheep.
In order to show God that we do love Him we have to affirm our love to Him. Talk to Him (pray) and tell Him you love Him and how important He is to you! Give Him time. Give Him your gifts. All good things are from Him and He wants you to use your gifts to honor Him. We also show Him how much we love Him by our service. There is always something we can do and someone who needs us. We need to love ourselves so we can love others including our enemies. We have to practice forgiveness and compassion. Doing these good things honors God's name.
That is a long hard list so no wonder He keeps having to ask us, Do you love me? Jesus asks everyone who has experienced His love at the cross, “Do you love Me?” If you answer, “Yes, Lord, You know that I love You.” His reply is, “Tend My sheep.”