February 12, 2007

"Lovest thou me?"

How many of us are genuinely interested in the people we relate with? Do we really care for our friends?

A new commandment I give unto you "Love one another, as I have loved you..." To love someone therefore, is not a request, or a choice, but a command to be obeyed. "Do you love me?" a question asked by Jesus who gave that commandment, was a thought on my mind for quite some time.

For a Christian, Love ought to be a top priority in life. A great responsibility rests on a Christian. Every born-again, and a believer knows that he ought to love all, as commanded. Yet how many of us, truly love our friends, and people we relate to, in the sanctity of the word? Refer to I Corinthians 13, if you want to know what love actually is.

It is surprising sometimes, how you do somethings (e.g., loving) over a period of time, and they become a routine than being meaningful and stop having that initial charismatic effect on you... Nevertheless, today, I woke up to an sms, that gave me news of one of my school friend's father's death. As much dismay that death causes, it always puts me in a pensive mood. It was then, that the Spirit spoke to me and inspired to share this small message.

I was reminded of Simon Peter, St. Peter, whom Jesus questioned: "Do you love me?", and not once, He did that thrice!!! And, naturally, Peter was grieved at that. Because he walked so close with Jesus, he was led by the Spirit, acknowledged Jesus as Son of God, and he belonged to Jesus' very close group "Peter, James and John." Yet, Jesus chose to ask him, Simon Peter. Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?"

To that, Peter answered: "Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee."
And Jesus replied: "Feed my sheep."

All three times, Jesus replied "Feed my sheep..." eventually said "Follow me!"

I have made many good friends and I profess to love them. I also guess you must have too. But what is the limit of our love? Till we're together? Till we help and are of some use to each other? Jesus said "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lays down his life for his friends." And he demonstrated his love for us all, and they that believe in Him." Perhaps that's the limit we ought to have: To the end of the world, Till death parts you.

"Love" has lost its sanctity. The culture is such now, that deeper words are used to express lighter and fleeting feelings and emotions. How much do we mean "I love you" expressed so often with friends or near ones when it costs us dear? There was never a situation perhaps. But Jesus wants us to focus on our friends' spiritual needs. He instructed "fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

How many of us are genuinely interested in the people we relate with? Do we really care for our friends? Do we love? Isn't there more to friendship and loving a person beyond talking, playing, partying and making them other source of entertainment? Do you only care for the person's physical needs? Would you not care for the soul?

What would you tell Jesus if He asked you "Lovest thou me (with reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion, as one loves the Father) more than (anything material or spiritual) these? If you love Jesus, are you feeding His sheep? Do you really love Him? Are you following Him? Do you really love Him? Are you spending time with him? Are you spending any little time on the Father's business? Do you know what the Father's business is? Remember what Jesus said? "I have come to seek and save that is lost."

Everyday, you are spending so much time with His lost sheep. Many of your friends are, isn't it? Do you have any intention, how much Jesus is missing them? Are you spending any time in getting back His lost sheep to Him? Have you ever shared Jesus with them? Or, are you afraid that you'll be caught converting someone? What we should be knowing is that we can never be successful in conversion, simply because we cannot. We can just share Christ, it is Spirit who will inspire or convict the person, who will then choose to transform or reject the message.

Are you doing your job? Are you actually loving your friends? Something I read yesterday: The Church of England criticised Madonna for using a crucifix in her promotional tour and stated: "Is Madonna prepared to take on everything else that goes with wearing a crown of thorns?" Jesus is not asking you to put a crown of thorns and get crucified on the cross. He just wants you to share the love that you've experienced with others. Is that too much for you?

Jesus is asking you: "Lovest thou me above all these?" If your answer is yes, he says, "Feed my sheep."

As always I just hope this message would mean any good to atleast one. I pray that the Lord bless us with a renewed mind and spirit, and that we grow unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

Keep doing the Father's business!
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