Welcome to Refinery Life Australia.
Today we continue our series titled “The Living Christ”.
Today we are talking about How Much Do You Love Jesus?
Father, we pray that Your indwelling Holy Spirit will purge sin from us.
Help us never give first class loyalty to second class things.
Enable us to see as You see, to judge as You judge, and to choose how You choose.
May we have high on our list of priorities the needs of a lost world, not only here at home, but to the ends of the earth.
Us the money that we bring this morning to spread the gospel to all people no matter who they are or whee they are.
In Jesus name we pray.
John 21:15 (AMP)
The Love Motivation
15 So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these [others do—with total commitment and devotion]?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You [with a deep, personal affection, as for a close friend].” Jesus said to him, “Feed My lambs.”
John 21:1-17 (ESV)
Jesus Appears to Seven Disciples
1 After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way.
2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together.
3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
4 Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.
5 Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.”
6 He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish.
7 That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea.
8 The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.
9 When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread.
10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.”
11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn.
12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.
13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish.
14 This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.
Jesus and Peter
15 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.”
16 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.”
17 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.
ii have heard that the Sea of Galilee is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Even today you can board a ship at Tiberias, take the short trip to Capernaum, and feel you are living in biblical times.
The angel had promised on the resurrection morning that Jesus would meet His disciples in Galilee.
That promise had been fulfilled, at least for seven of the disciples, who had been fishing all night without success until Jesus came.
Breakfast was over!
Jesus had provided everything, as He always does when we have a need.
He had told His disciples where to cast their nets for fish, had prepared a fire of coals to cook the fish, and, from some source, had secured bread.
Jesus focused the “after breakfast” conversation on one thing.
In one sense He was speaking to all the group even though He directed His words to Simon Peter.
Scholars have had a problem with he grammatical construction of Jesus’ question to Peter.
Exactly what did Jesus mean by the expression, “Do you love me more than these?”
Three suggestions have been made.
- “Do you love me more that your fellow disciples do?”
A short time before Jesus was arrested in the garden of Gethsemane, Simon Peter had boasted that his loyalty was greater than that of his fellow disciples.
As they went out to the Mount of Olives after observing the first communion supper, Jesus said to the group in Matthew 26:31 (AMP)
31 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of Me this night [disillusioned about Me, confused, and some even ashamed of Me], for it is written [in the Scriptures], ‘I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
Peter answered first, as he usually did, Matthew 26:33 (AMP)
33 Peter replied to Him, “Though they all fall away because of You [and doubt and disown You], I will never fall away!”
Perhaps Peter did not mean to boast but was instead seeking to assure the Saviour of his loyalty.
But that’s not the way it came across!
Without realising what he was saying, Peter was letting the others know that even though their faith may be weak, he would never fail to trust his Master completely and serve Him without compromise or disloyalty.
This question comes to us in our day.
How strong is your love when compared or contrasted with the love of other Christians?
Of course, let it be said immediately that we are not in competition with our fellow Christians as to who is the best servant of Jesus.
Such an attitude is entirely unchristian if it causes us to develop critical spirit toward others and a comparison of faults and virtues.
This can make us almost pharisaical in our approach to Christian consecration.
Yet the question is worth asking!
Are you only a nominal Christian?
Or are you known among your friends as one whose loyalty to Jesus is far above the minimum standard?
Almost every church has at least two groups of people.
First, there are those who merely belong.
Perhaps they are saved, but they are not showing by their fruits any evidence of a deep love for Jesus.
They more or less hang on for the ride but cannot be depended on to witness or serve in any effective way.
On the other hand, there is the inner circle, the nucleus, that bears the load.
Which group are you in?
2. “Do you love me more than you love other people?”
There were six others with Jesus and Peter.
What about Peter’s love for Jesus as compared with his love for his fellow disciples?
Peter must have been a man of influence, for he was the one Jesus chose to be the leader of the twelve.
That influence was demonstrated when one day he said to his friends, “Im going fishing.”
They replied, “We are coming with you” (John 21:3)
No doubt, Peter enjoyed his leadership of the group.
All of them may have become disillusioned.
They probably had not seen Jesus since His second appearance in the upper room when He had revealed Himself to Thomas in such an expressive way.
Jesus had accepted the challenge of showing the scars left by the nails and allowing Thomas to thrust his hand into the side that had been wounded.
Perhaps the disciples had asked themselves, “Was it real, or was it some sort of dream we had?”
Peter’s decision to go fishing was more than getting away for a few hours, he was ready to return to his old job.
Now Jesus came and showed Peter once again His divine person and His need for Peter to be part of His redemptive plan.
But Jesus said that Peter needed to love Him more than he loved his friends.
Even if Peter’s finds deserted him, he must determine to follow Jesus.
Some questions come to us at this point.
What do you love the most?
The applause of the crowd or the approval of the Saviour?
Will peer pressure cause you to compromise your faith?
Is there a price tag on your dedication?
One Christian hymn writer told how, as a young man, he faced the decision of drinking at a party.
He watch others, who he thought were strong Christians, drink freely.
He realised he must make a decision.
He chose one young lady who was nearby as his role model and said to himself, “whatever she does, I will do.”
She smiled sweetly and turned her glass upside down when the host came to her.
In Australia that would mean something different but she was refusing to drink alcohol.
And after seeing the young lady do it, it was easy for the young man to refuse as well.
He married that girl, and they served the Lord faithfully for many years.
But suppose she had yielded, would this have been an excuse for him?
We must love Jesus more than we love anyone else.
And we must never allow another person to come between us and our Saviour.
3. “Do you love me more than these “things” that are near you?”
The most likely interpretation of our text is that Jesus pointed to the fishing nets and other equipment used by Peter as He asked, “Do you love men more than these?”
The real test of a Christian is when he or she is confronted with the matter of personal priorities.
The problem of “things” and making a living is always with us!
Nowhere does the Bible condemn anyone for striving to earn the necessities of life for themselves and their family.
Only when our labour gets out of hand and becomes top priority does it become wrong.
Paul said in 1 Timothy 5:8 (AMP)
8 If anyone fails to provide for his own, and especially for those of his own family, he has denied the faith [by disregarding its precepts] and is worse than an unbeliever [who fulfills his obligation in these matters].
The Bible warns us, however, about focussing on the material things of life.
One of our greatest spiritual needs today is, to defy the tyranny of stuff.
What are the “real things” in life?
Are they the things that can be seen and handled?
These things can fade away in a moment.
But you cannot tear away the spiritual truths or the concepts behind them.
You can burn a book, but you can’t burn an idea.
We need to be liberated from the enslaving power of things!
What do you love the most?
Things or spiritual principles?
Answer that question realistically and you will give a correct evaluation of yourself as a Christian.
Years ago I heard a minister make a statement I haven’t forgotten.
He said, In contrasting Abraham and Lot, that Abraham was the kind of man who, if his business interfered with his religion, would give up his business, while Lot was the kind of man who, if his religion interfered with his business, he would give up his religion.
Do you love Jesus more than the “things” that are constantly around you in daily living?
The three questions are self explanatory.
No application or summary is needed.
Rather, we need to look at ourselves realistically and face honestly the question of our love for Jesus.
After all has been said and done, the true motivation for service is love.
If we love, we serve.
If we do not love, we do not serve.
If we are not serving , it is because we do not love Jesus enough.
The answer for more dedication on the part of Christians is for each of us to have a greater devotion to the living Saviour.
Jesus said, Luke 9:62 (AMP)
62 But Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back [to the things left behind] is fit for the kingdom of God.”
It requires no strength of character to quit, to give up your fathom to renounce your allegiance to christ and His church.
Anybody can quit.
Are you an apostate?
Have you given up living for Christ?
Until next time
Stay in the Blessings
I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.
When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.
Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!
You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org
When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.
So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us
2021 IS A YEAR OF REFORMATION
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