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December 9, 2015

Loving Jesus

Are we in love with Jesus Christ? A disciple is one who loves the Lord enough to follow him, deny self, and obey his commandments. Love is the ultimate motivator. Are we motivated to follow Jesus out of some religious duty and obligation or out of love? If Jesus turned to us as he did with Peter and said "Do you love me" how would we respond? Our first response may be like Peter's "Of course, Lord you know I love you" (John 21:15-19). Jesus will see right though that. It's OK to say "God, I’m not sure I love you, but I want to." Be honest with the Lord. The key to loving Jesus is knowing Jesus. The more we allow ourselves to draw close to Jesus and really know him, the more we will love him.

Peter begins to open up to Jesus in the right way when he says "Lord you know all things" (John 21:17). In spite of Peter's lack of agape love for Jesus, in spite of his guilt and shame, his mistakes, his impulsiveness, his weakness, and his dis-loyalty - He knows Jesus sees right through all these things. We all put up this little self-pretense with God because we find it difficult to face the painful reality of our own hearts. We medicate ourselves with self-righteousness, pride, denial, and a false reality of who we really are. Jesus lovingly keeps calling to us until we let that go. His Holy Spirit helps us break through all the outer layers of self until we see our desperate need for Jesus. Then we can go and forgive and love in return.