“I love you Lord”, was an emotion that matured itself into a sentence in my heart. Overwhelmed by an emotion stronger than myself I whispered the words in my heart. Within the emotion a soft voice, loving yet powerful asked me, “Rejoice do you really love me?” Wait a moment…what a familiar question. Where had I heard this from?
Recalling a special moment between Jesus and Peter, I remembered! The moment Jesus asked Simon Peter thrice if he loved him. Then I wondered did Jesus doubt Simon Peter’s love? The answer is no but He was drawing Peter’s and our attention to something of importance. (John 21:16-17) What then does it mean to love the Lord if Peter’s words alone could not authenticate his declaration?
Love is more than a feeling. If it were to be one, what then would happen when our feelings change? What would happen when we feel disappointed, hurt, betrayed and taken for granted? Worst of all what would happen when the love we feel is not reciprocated? The point I am driving at is that love is a decision to be committed and dedicated to people/person despite the time, circumstances or our emotions. Love is sacrificial and selfless!
There is one thing I have come to learn that is; as one grows in their relationship with the Lord, you grow in loving Him more and more. Hence to love Him becomes the epitome of the sound of one’s heartbeat, and so, to please Him will be what one will long for. Initially these might just be feelings and premature confessions. At times the way we feel we fail to show it. Jesus Christ has already defined what it is to love Him; He has already defined for us what it is to say “I long for you”.
In this world where-by, our emotions have become the basis of the authenticity of our words yet Jesus stands and says the authentication of your words is brought prior to your actions. Therefore we cannot say we love Him and still walk in continual disobedience to His voice. We cannot say we love Him and not love, care for that which He loves and cares for. As in Peter’s case, Jesus was telling him that since you love me you will love, treasure, feed and care for my sheep (people). In simple words, Jesus Christ was saying that my people do not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from Me. Hence nourish them by teaching and preaching that which I have taught and will continue to teach you.
In conclusion, I came to know, I cannot love God only by my words or emotions. Rather He admonishes us that if you love me you will obey my commands, by so doing I am able to fully express the love I confess. Additionally to love Him is to trust Him so then we can easily obey Him without any grievances. Once we do not live according to His principles our love will ultimately be in question. However we should remember this, we are not called to obey Him by our strength. Jesus Christ has given us His Spirit so that if we walk by Him and rely on Him we are able to obey Christ from the love He has poured in us and still pours in us, then, eventually, we can fully express our love for him.
My desire is to love Him maturely and withholding nothing, going where He says I go and doing what He says I need to do. I hope that will be your desire too.