Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Loving more than "These"

Loving more than "These"
S - John 21:15 (NASB)
15 So 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."

O - The context of Jesus asking Peter this question comes after Peter had already denied Christ 3 times, and the disciples had gone back to some of their old occupation to fish.   The risen Jesus had appeared to them a few times and yet they still did not fully understand that they were to build Christs' church.  We have witnessed God's extravagant love for us in that Jesus died for us on the cross , even while we were still sinners.  Now he comes to Peter, and ask how much does he love Him.  From one perspective this is a great opportunity for Peter to overcome his previous denials of Christ.   In the context of of the bible study "Reckless Faith"  we can contemplate/discern some lessons from this question of things that we must not love more than Jesus in order to follow him.  As Pastor Kevin Harney helps us parse out - These could be:   Material things - the fish they just caught, money ,   Security - The boat and nets - a career that can sustain you,   Friends and associates - the people you have that are close to you that give you comfort,   Other peoples love of Jesus.

A -  The application for me is to understand my own love for Jesus and how in each of these area's the barriers to my following Jesus in Reckless Faith need to be understood and overcome.    For material things it has gone from a love of material things for myself to a desire to be able to provide material things for my family.  My love is diminished when I am not trusting in the Lord's provision, and the freedom that comes in loving and trusting in His provision is powerful.   For security -  I have recently wrestled with my career in the Navy and my service to the Lord.  I have a strong desire to serve the Lord with all that he has created and equipped me to be.  As retirement approaches the thought of leaving the security of working for the Navy  has given me pause, to think about the financial future of my family,  and it has likely given me pause to the extent of my love for Jesus and willingness to follow Him, or as he asked Peter to Tend my sheep.   I must continue to place all of trust in Him and his love for me, and trust him for my eternal security and not the temporal security that I crave.     I must love Jesus more than my friends and family - this goes with the commandment love God and then love your neighbors.  It is out of our fullness of love for God that we are overfilled with sufficient love to love our neighbors.  

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for this study of your word and its support of me learning to recklessly love you so that I may also recklessly love the people of the world you are trying to reach through me.  Help me Lord to love you more that all of these things, so I may fully love you, love my wife, love my children, love my family, love my co-workers and love the people you bring into my life.

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