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Duty, Fulfillment, or Love

March 25, 2020

“Simon, son of John, do you love me?” John 21:17

You can try your hand at ministry out of a sense of duty or a search for fulfillment, but nobody can sustain a life of ministry apart from love. Everything Jesus did was an expression of his love for the Father: “the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me” (John 14:31 NIV).

So Jesus asks the question: “Simon… do you love me?” There were plenty of questions Jesus could have asked that would have disqualified Peter from future usefulness. Suppose the question was, “Do you feel worthy?” How would Peter have answered that? What if Jesus’ question was, “Are you up for it?” How many of us could say yes?

Love for Christ does not qualify you for every form of service, but if you love Christ there’s some way you can be useful to Him. You keep your love burning brightly by thinking often about Christ’s love for you: “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

If you can’t stand with Peter and say, “Lord, you know that I love you,” it may be that you have never received what He wants to give. The only solution is that Christ should give you a new heart that is responsive to His love.

Jesus said, “He who has been forgiven much loves much” (Luke 7:47, author’s paraphrase), and it is this love for Jesus, this sense of owing everything to Him that energizes a life of service. Intimacy with Christ precedes activity for Christ.

Take some time to ponder Christ’s love for you. Think about His incarnation for you, His crucifixion for you, His resurrection for you, and His ascension for you.


The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the Senior Pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the President and Teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.



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