If We Love Jesus, Then..

John 21:15-17 ESV

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.”

Do You Love Jesus?

Do you love Jesus Christ? Are you sure? Do you know what Jesus taught and what the New Testament apostles taught on that subject?

Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me” (John 14:15-24). “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love” (John 15:10). “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21-23).

“And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says ‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected” (1 John 2:3-5). “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him..” (1 John 2:15-17).

“Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us” (1 John 3:24). “And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it” (2 John 1:6).

“Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?” (Romans 6:16). “And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him” (Hebrews 5:9). “Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:21-25).

So, there is a direct correlation between loving Jesus and obeying his commandments (New Covenant). So, if we claim to love Jesus we must be those who are also walking in obedience to his commands. And yes, even though we are not under the Old Covenant liturgical, ceremonial, sacrificial, purification and dietary laws and restrictions, we are not to be lawless. Jesus still has commands for us to obey under the New Covenant, and they are written down for us all throughout the New Testament.

More Than These

“These” can be anything which may have the potential to be loved by us more than we love Jesus. So, it isn’t just that if we love Jesus that we will obey him, but do we love him more than everyone and everything else on this earth? Is he truly in first place in our lives? Will you follow him wherever he leads you in doing whatever he has called you to do even if it means being rejected by family members, and by other professers of Christianity?

Will you follow him wholeheartedly in doing whatever he says to do even if you must sacrifice your much desired career? Even if it means giving up your plans for your life to follow his plans for your life? Even if it means that you are hated, rejected, persecuted, falsely accused, thought crazy, and cast aside by others who call themselves Christians, and even by pastors? And even if they invite you out of their “church” because you don’t “fit” with their business plans and goals?

We have to love Jesus more than everything and everyone else on this earth or he says we are not worthy of him. “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37-38).

Jesus said that if we love our family members more than we love him that we are not worthy of him, meaning that we don’t have him as our Lord and Savior, and we are not part of his eternal kingdom, for we would not make him Lord. And if we do not take up our cross (die with Jesus to sin) and follow (obey) him, we are not worthy of him. And Jesus said, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

And so we are urged to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called, and we are to let our manner of life be worthy (fitting, suitable) of the gospel of Christ, and we are to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work.

[Matt 10:37-38; Lu 9:62; Eph 4:1; Php 1:27; Col 1:10; 1 Thess 2:12]

Feed My Sheep

When we believe in Jesus Christ with God-given faith, and we are crucified with him in death to sin, and we are raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness, we become children of God, and we become members in the body of Christ. And we each have a God-given responsibility to minister God’s love and grace to each other, to exhort and to instruct one another, to speak the truth in love to each other and to urge each other to live holy lives pleasing to the Lord.

So, if we love Jesus Christ, and we love him “more than these,” and so we are walking in obedience to his commands, then we are also to love our fellow believers in Christ and to minister to them as the Scriptures teach, using the gifts we have been given of the Spirit of God, and operating in the body parts we each have each been assigned by God. For we all form one body and each part is to have equal concern for the other. So, we need to learn what our part is and then we need to do it, for the glory of God.

[Matt 5:13-16; Matt 28:18-20; Jn 4:31-38; Jn 13:13-17; Jn 14:12; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:42-47; Acts 26:18; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Rom. 10:14-15; Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 3:17; 1 Co 5:1-13; 1 Co 6:19-20; 1 Co 12:1-31; Eph 1:4,22; Eph 2:19-22; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-30; Col 1:18-22; Col 2:19; Col 3:12-16; 2 Tim 1:9; 2 Tim 2:21; Heb 3:13; Heb 10:23-31; Titus 2:11-14; 1 Pet 1:13-16; 1 Pet. 2:4-9,21]

Have Thine Own Way, Lord

Words by Adelaide A. Pollard, 1907
Music by George C. Stebbins, 1907

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me I pray!
Power, all power, surely is Thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine!

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o’er my being absolute sway.
Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me!

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