John 21:17 Do You Really Love Jesus?

Loving Jesus

The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” John 21:17

After the resurrection, Jesus had asked Peter three times if he loved Him. Each time Peter would reply that he did. Each time Jesus would also tell him to feed His sheep.

Saying that a person loves someone is easy to say. People say that they love someone all the time. Yet, the love being shown is usually very selfish and not real love. It is about what person is getting that the person loves, not always the person directly.

People all over the world claim to love Jesus. They claim to be believers in Him and claim to be His follower. However, many of those same people are not doing what He told them to do.

Belief and love of Jesus is often done for selfish reasons. People do not want to be condemned or go to hell for all eternity, so they believe in Jesus. This is a good beginning, but it should not be the end.

Once a person begins to believe in Jesus, his love for Him must grow. True love looks out for the other person, not self. True love is self-sacrificing for the other person.

Jesus had one goal in mind when He came to this earth and that was to seek and save all the lost. He wants to feed and build up every person to be more like Him.  Jesus sacrificed Himself for every person on this earth.

Believers, today, must be willing to sacrifice themselves for Jesus now. This means putting their own desires aside to truly love Him and do what He asked them to do…feed His sheep.

If you are a believer in Jesus and claim to love you, what are you doing? Are you doing what He asked you to do?

Jesus told every person to go and make disciples of all the world. He said to build and not destroy.

Each day God gives you the opportunity to feed into someone else’s life the word of God. You have the opportunity to be His witness each day.

Do you really love Jesus?

Or do you just claim you do?

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will love Jesus with true love; that you will follow the commission of Jesus; and that you will feed everyone you can the truth of Jesus and build them up in Christ.

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John 20:27 Stop Doubting & Believe

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Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” John 20:27

Many of the disciples had seen Jesus after his death and resurrection, however, Thomas had not. Thomas had stated that unless he could put his hands in the holes in Jesus’ hands and feet, he would not believe.

Jesus appeared to the disciples and told Thomas to put his hands in the holes. Then He said to stop doubting and believe.

Doubt is something that runs high among people all over the world. People doubt many different things. This is not surprising since the devil is a liar and lies bring about doubt. People cannot always know for certain whether what someone is saying is true or not. There is a lot of falsehood in this world, under many different disguises.

Sadly many people doubt that Jesus rose from the dead or is the Savior of the world.

What is more sad, is that many believers, those who claim to believe in and follow Jesus, often doubt His words.

Throughout the bible God has made many promises to those who believe in Him. Jesus promised to meet the believers every need; to remove all sin; to save for all eternity; and would never leave or forsake the believer.

Yet, when things are going rough, many stop believing His words and begin to doubt the bible. Many believers begin to worry about how things are going to turn out, because they are doubting God’s word. Fear and anxiety trouble many believers.

Although a believer cannot reach out and physically touch Jesus, he can look at God’s word and see what God has already done in His life and in the lives of others. When he sees that, he must stop doubting and start believing.

When you begin to doubt God, stop and look at your own life. Take note of how many times God has provided for you or His promises are seen in your life.

Now stop worrying about what is happening, and start believing the words of Jesus. Hide His word in your heart to remember what He said. Refuse to follow the ways of this world and doubt the truth.

Know the truth about Jesus and stop doubting. Stop doubting and start believing that God is with you and for you.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will believe that Jesus is alive; that you will believe all the words of God; and that you will no longer have any doubt in God’s promises. 

John 20:21 Not Judgment, But Peace

Lion and Lamb

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” John 20:21

After Jesus had risen from the dead, He began to show Himself to different people. The disciples were in a locked room when Jesus first appeared to them. They were scared, but His first words to them were to be at peace. Then He sends them out to do a work for God.

When a person is going through a difficult time, the last thing he wants is for all of his friends to reject him, or walk away. He needs the help and support of his friends.

While some get the needed support, many have a lot of friends who walk away. They do not support. This is especially true if the situation is very negative.

Very often when a person is accused of a major crime and sentenced to prison, most of his friends reject him. They do not understand how he could have done such a crime. Many people do not want to be associated with someone who has committed a major crime.

People who have been abandoned by another person in great time of need, will often come back later with accusations against that person. He will be angry for being rejected and left alone to suffer.

Jesus did not do that with the disciples. Every disciple had abandoned Him as He was being accused, beaten and crucified.

Later when Jesus rose from the dead and met with them, the first thing He told them was to be at peace. He was not angry with them for abandoning Him. Jesus forgave them and gave each one a chance to start over. There was no accusation or blaming done at all. They were forgiven.

You may have had a friend who has hurt you or abandoned you in your time of need. Instead of throwing accusations and judgment upon him, forgive him and make peace with him.

There may also be times you have let God down and abandoned Him. Allow Jesus to forgive you and make peace with Him. He is there to bring peace, not condemnation and judgment.

God wants you to have peace in your life with Him. Do not be afraid to meet with God after making a mistake and sinning. He is there to forgive you and restore the peace.

I pray today that you will know the peace Jesus brings; that you will go to God when you make a mistake and sin against Him; that you will not fear approaching God; and that you will make peace with those who have done wrong to you.

John 18:11 Accepting What God Gives

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Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” John 18:11

The disciples were in a garden and had just finished praying when a group of soldiers and leaders came up to arrest Jesus. Peter tried to defend Jesus and cut off a servant’s ear with his sword. Jesus rebuked him saying that He needed to drink the cup His Father had given to Him.

People love to accept gifts that are good gifts. The definition of good gifts, is gifts that are usable, helpful, makes a person feel good and are pleasurable. They are eager to accept these gifts because they are usually what the person wants.

There are many times that a person gets a gift that he really does not want. Such as a child getting a pair of socks for Christmas. The child wanted toys more than clothes. The child is very disappointed with the socks, because it is not what he desired.

Adults get the same way. They will get some gift that they really did not want. Although most adults don’t complain out loud, they do mumble under their breath at not wanting it.

Believers in God have the same problem. God gives things to people all the time. Sometimes those things are physical things, other times it is situations. When the good things come in, people are happy. They like when they get great favor, a pay raise, repairs done, a healing, the needed sleep, and other ‘good’ things.

However, along with giving ‘good’ things, God also gives, what appears to be ‘bad’ things. There are times of sickness, breakdowns, job loss, persecution, hatred and more. As with Jesus getting arrested, these things appear to be bad.

The important thing to remember is that God only gives you what is best for your life. God will not give you anything that will not be for your benefit. Even the bad things can be for your benefit.

When a bad situation happens, it is time to turn to God for strength and direction. It is not a time to fight back and complain of what is happening.

Trust God that He knows what is best for your life. So accept all things that He puts in your path. Do not accept only the good and reject what appears to be bad. With God, all can be used for good.

I pray today that you will see God giving you all that you need; that you will trust God’s provisions; that you will seek God’s strength in tough times; and that you will give God thanks for everything.

John 17:16 Not Of This World

Not Of This World

They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.” John 17:16

Jesus is praying for the disciples and is telling God to protect them from the evil one because He will be leaving the earth. He points out that they are not of this earth, just as He is not of it.

All over the world one of the hot issues being talked about is people who are immigrants. These are people who are coming out of one country in order to live in another country.

Many people do not like the idea of people from another country coming in and living in their country. The new people are strangers. They have different customs, beliefs, and ways of doing things. In America it is often easy to spot a new person from a foreign country. Often they do not speak English and they act very differently. Since this is the case, many people treat them differently or even in a rough manner wanting them to leave.

Believers are very much in the same way like those immigrants. This world is not their home. The belief system is very different from that of the world. The world looks at life as eat, drink and be merry, get as much as one can as fast as he can and control others, all focused on self and today. Believers believe in serving and loving others, building others up, and are focused on eternity and God.

When a person is focused on eternity, the troubles of this world lose their impact. What a person has today or is going through is not as important as to holding onto what the future holds. The believer is focused on getting to his eternal home in heaven some day. There is a hope and life that the world does not and cannot know without knowing Jesus.

Knowing that you are not a citizen of this world, but are just passing through can build you up and strengthen you in the trials of this life. Everything that you are going through is temporary and getting you ready for your new home.

Go through each day looking forward to the day you step into heaven with Jesus for all eternity. Jesus had left this earth to prepare a home for you. Strive to be ready for that home and bring everyone you can with you. You are not of this world.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know the hope you have in Jesus; that God will strengthen you to live for Him; and that you will be ready for heaven someday.

 

John 16:33 How To Find Peace

Man Worships God

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Jesus is giving His last minute warnings about what is about to happen to the disciples. He lets them know that He is about to leave for a time and that there will be much trouble in the world. Jesus lets them know that He told them these things so that they could have His peace because He has already overcome the world.

It is very easy to see that there is trouble in this world. Turn on any news channel and one will see very little outside of troubles. Very few people are not have troubles in their own personal lives. Trouble with jobs, relationships, addictions, bills, marriages, families, and the list of troubles never seem to stop. There does not seem to be any peace.

Then the believers look at the world and see even more trouble. Refusal to believe in Jesus, promotion of more sin than ever before, persecution of Christians on the rise and, again, the list goes on. There does not seem to be any peace to be found.

Many believers are worried about finding peace in this world. Yet, Jesus said He told believers things so that they would have peace. He had already stated that there would be trouble, but they could still have peace. That peace is found in Him. He has already overcome the world.

If Jesus has overcome this world, there is nothing to worry about with all the troubles that one may have to see or go through.

Believers are to be excited, because Jesus has overcome the world. He said, “Take heart!” He told you what was going to happen before it did. He also stated that He had overcome the world. If one statement is proving true, the other one will be true also. This can give you peace.

The peace is not that everything appears to be going perfectly in this world, but that everything is happening under God’s control, just as He said it would. If all these things are happening as He said it would, that also means Jesus will return as He said He would.

As a believer you have an eternity to look forward to in heaven with God. Take heart and be at peace!

I pray today that you will know what Jesus has done for you; that you will believe the words of Jesus; and that you will know the peace Jesus gives to you.

John 12:24 Lose To Gain

Seed Producing

“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” John 12:24

The time for Jesus to go to the cross is getting closer. He is now telling the disciples that He is ready for death. Jesus uses the illustration of a kernel of wheat to say that it must fall and die before it can produce any more wheat.

Regardless of what plant it is, the seed must fall off of the plant and die before it can produce any more seeds. It may be good to have the seed on the tree for a time, but after a while it must die. If it does not die, the plant will not be able to produce any more. If it does not produce any more, then it is extremely limited in how much produce is made.

Jesus knew that in His death, He would be able to reach a lot more people than just the few He could physically reach, walking around and talking.

The world looks at death and dying as failing or stopping. They only see one type of death. Yet, for God, there are three types of death. There is the physical death with the body, the eternal death of separation of God, and death to self.

Jesus did not come to this world for Himself, but for every person. He set the example of dying to self to save the world.

Every believer must choose to die to self. He must put away selfish desires and focus on God and others. Once this occurs, it opens the door to loving others more and reaching more for Christ.

God sees death to self as a person giving Himself to God. It is allowing God to use the person to reach the world.

As a believer you must be willing to die to yourself, just as Jesus died on the cross. Put God and others first in your life as you live your life on this earth. Do what it takes to reach others.

You must lose your personal desires to put God’s desires first in your life. When this happens, God can use you to reach the world. Lose your life and you will produce more fruit. Lose today and gain much more in the end.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will lose your desires to gain God’s desires; that God will use you to reach the lost; and that God will produce much fruit in your life.