Greetings my friend! My prayer for you is that you are sensing the Lord’s favor and peace at work in your life at this time and also feeling His strength manifested in all you do so that you may give Him all the glory and praise!!
As I was thinking about what to write about in my blog for this month a thought came to my mind. Because it seems like it was only yesterday that I was putting away all our Christmas stuff, I suddenly realized that we are now in the month of February, what I would call the love month; when we celebrate Valentines Day. As I thought about Valentines Day, the thought that came to my mind was; have you ever wondered about the number of times in your life that either you have said, or heard someone else say these words to you. I love you?
I come from the 60’s, or better know as when the hippie revolution took place, which was all about peace and love; or so we thought. It was during this hippie revolution that the expression ‘free love’ was birthed; which basically was all about having sex with anyone. The Jefferson Airplane, a group back in the 60’s, came out with a song entitled ‘Somebody To Love’ which contains the lyrics; “Don’t you want somebody to love? Don’t you need somebody to love? Wouldn’t you love somebody to love? You better find somebody to love.” Hear me, finding someone to just have sex with is not about finding someone to love. As I said earlier, the 60’s were a time where the term ‘free love’ was birthed but I ask you, is love really free? What does it actually mean when you say to someone. ‘I Love You’
Jesus says in John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” As I read those words of Jesus, my heart is challenged to the max. We flippantly say those words, ‘I love you’ to others and not totally understand what we are saying. Would we lay down our life to whom we are saying ‘I love you’ to? Another time, we read where Jesus says in Matthew 5:43-44 “You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Still another time we read where Jesus’ says in John 13:35 “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” And yet still another time we read where Jesus says in John 14:15 “If you love Me, you will obey what I command.” Do I hear someone saying, ‘enough already’
In John 21:15-19 we read the account where after He had risen from the grave, Jesus has a life changing encounter with Peter, who you remember not very long before this encounter with Jesus had denied he even knew Jesus 3 times. Three times we read where Jesus asks Peter a tough question, ‘Do you love Me’ which was in reference to the three times Peter denied Jesus. One can only imagine the shame and disappointment Peter felt in his heart about what he did. Peter, maybe was hoping that somehow Jesus had forgotten all about that horrible time he failed to acknowledge that he was one of His followers. It took a lot of courage for Peter to not only be standing before Jesus right now, much less to be questioned by Jesus as to if Peter loved Him.
Each time Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him, Peter responded just as we would have responded; ‘Yes Lord, You know that I do.’ What else could Peter say? When Peter denied Jesus 3 times, to the point of cursing that he didn’t know Jesus, we read Peter and Jesus locked eyes and Peter went out and wept bitterly, as you and I would have done. So to be asked by the One you had once boldly declared you follow to the death, if you loved Him must have cut to Peter’s heart, as it would ours. Each time Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him and Peter responded by saying, ‘Lord, You know that I do’ Jesus gave Peter a task to do; a very important point to remember.
Those 3 small words ‘I love you’ carry a huge responsibility, especially to Christians when they say it to anyone. People in the world, at times, use the words ‘I love you’ to gain favor, make others think they are something wonderful, to give a false perception, and the list goes on and on. As Christians, when we say those beautiful words ‘I love you’ they must carry everything Jesus meant when He said in John 15:9 “As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love.“
Saying ‘I love you’ must run deeper than a box of candy, a nice dinner at a fancy restaurant, a beautiful card, 2 dozen roses, or a tender hug and kiss on a special day, though those are all wonderful in themselves. The words ‘I love you’ ; whether we say them to our spouses or those we call our brothers and sisters in the Lord, must mean action, commitment, loyalty, support, obedience and faithfulness. Saying ‘I love you’ must have the exact meaning in our hearts as it did when Jesus said in John 15:12 “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” Jesus set the example for us to follow on the cross, now we must do the same. My dear friend, don’t just say the words ‘I love you’ to those you care deeply about, let your actions tell the real story of how much you love them 🙂
Categories: A Pastor's Blog