THURSDAY, JANUARY 4
“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.’”
John 21:15 ESV
FRESH STARTS: LOVING
Billy Bob goes to a diner for breakfast, buys a coffee a sits down to drink it. He looks on the side of his cup and finds a peel off prize. He pulls off the tab and yells, “I WON! I WON! I WON a motorhome, I WON a motorhome!” The waitress looks to the owner wide-eyed, knowing that the biggest prize given away is a bicycle. They both approach Billy Bob with the problem saying, “You couldn’t possibly have won a motorhome because we don’t offer that as a prize!” Billy Bob replies, “Nope, no mistake, I WON a motorhome, I WON a motorhome!” He hands the prize ticket to the manager which reads, “WIN A BAGEL.”
Most of us have never won a bagel or a Winnebago. And we all know what it feels like to lose. In John 21, Jesus invited a bunch of guys who had failed Him to breakfast. And Peter had not only denied that He knew Jesus, He had cursed the fact someone insinuated that He did. And at this seaside breakfast Peter would humbly affirm his flawed love for Jesus by using the word “phileo” to describe his love for Jesus. “Phileo” is a brotherly affection but not “agape” which is perfect love. And that “phileo” kind of love was enough.
Pastor Mark Rutland shared about survey that was taken some years ago. Several thousand Americans were asked “What did they most want to hear from other people?” And the number one answer, it’s not a surprise, the number one answer that we want to hear from others is, “I love you.” And the second answer is not far off and not a surprise either. The second answer that we want to hear from others is, “I forgive you.” And the third answer – that’s a bit more of a shocker. The third answer that we want to hear is, “Supper’s ready!” If you think about it, John 21 is Jesus saying, “I love you, I forgive you and breakfast is ready.”
No matter what your failures of 2017 were, Jesus loves you, Jesus will forgive you and Jesus invites you to dine with Him in intimacy. The question for us is, “Do we love Him?” Our relationship with God starts and ends with love. Is there anything in your life that would cause God to doubt your love for Him? Ask God to grow your understanding of how much He loves you. Ask God to grow your love for Him.