Rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ. 1 Peter 4:13 (NIV) Now why does Peter say, “Rejoice…that you participate in the sufferings of Christ?” Because if you share in his sufferings, you will also share in his glory (4:13). Christ was despised and rejected in this world, but now...
Jesus said, “Simon… do you truly love me?” John 21:16
Can you picture the risen Lord Jesus Christ looking deep into your soul and asking you that question? “Do you really, really love me?”
“I chose you. I redeemed you. I went to a cross for you. My body was broken for you, my blood was shed for you. I awakened you, breathed life into you, gave you faith and repentance.”
“I made a covenant with you. I watch over you. Before a word is on your tongue I know it completely. I have loved you with an everlasting love. I have said to you, ‘I will never leave you. I will never forsake you.’”
When Jesus asked Peter this question, he answered, “Lord, you know that I love you” (21:16). And even as he said it, he was feeling ashamed that his love for Jesus was so small. Don’t you feel that as you look at the immensity of all that he has done for you?
R. C. Sproul read these words from Deuteronomy out loud: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength,” and then he said, “All your heart? All your soul? All your strength? I haven’t done that for 5 minutes.”
We need a Savior. We need a Savior who can forgive us, because our best attempts at loving God come nowhere close. We need a Savior who can lead us to love God with more of our heart and more of our soul and more of our much-ness.
Try to picture Jesus asking you this same question.