It’s “Do You Love Me” Day
It’s Valentine’s Day! People all over the world are looking for creative, meaningful ways to say, “I love you.” People also are looking to be loved. It may be from a lover, but that’s a limited view of the day. This day includes family members, dear friends, comrades in ventures, even perhaps – fellow countrymen. Most defining and critical, this day includes the God who loves you and me. So, the question from Him is still – “Do you love Me?”
That profound question from God to man – to every person, to you and to me – is found in Jn. 21:15-17. Jesus asks a good question – for a good reason. He wants to know from His disciple, Peter, “Do you love Me?” We’ll look at Peter in just a bit. But God also wants to know from you and me, “Do you love Me?” He already knows the answer, but He wants us to to be aware of the answer. That response will literally shape your entire life! It will also shape your relationship with God . . . and with other people.
Here are a couple of profound questions to ask yourself: “Do I really love God? From my heart? How do I prove I love Him?”
A Measure of Commitment
I was thinking about when Jesus reinstates Peter after Peter denies Him. (The above John 21 passage.) Jesus welcomes Peter within the framework of love. He does not list all Peter’s mistakes – or his good deeds. He doesn’t talk about second chances. Jesus doesn’t even ask if Peter believes in Him. Instead, He asks Peter, “Do you love Me?”
Jesus asks not about programs, accomplishments, duty, prestige, leadership, zeal, beliefs, or even sincerity. He asks about love.
Love is a very strong power that enables people to do amazing things. I think Jesus is asking the same question of you and me every day.
The Passage: Do You Love Me?
Let’s take a minute and look at the Scripture passage –
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love Me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “You know that I love You.”
Jesus said, “Feed My lambs.”
Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love Me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, You know that I love You.”
Jesus said, “Take care of My sheep.”
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.
A Proof of Commitment
God proves He loves by giving. ”For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. . . “ (Jn. 3:16) He has given Himself for you and to you. The most attractive and enchanting Being that exists loves you!
Jesus has an agenda to nurture and care for His precious loved ones. His children are dear to His heart, and He wants them taken care of. He even provides angel protection for His people (maybe not the typical cherubs of Valentine’s Day). Ps. 34:7 says, “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him – and He delivers them.” Ps. 91:11-12a says, “He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up.”
So, What Do You Have?
So, Valentine – special person, you have –
- A claim of love from God.
- Angels (probably not cherubs) who lovingly encamp around you.
- A Promise that your Great Love has already gone before you and is your rear guard. (Is. 52:12)
- You will be nurtured by your loving Shepherd (maybe not with chocolates).
- And you get flowers . . . the Rose Of Sharon and Lily of the Valley is yours! (Song of Songs 2:1)
How Do You Love God Back?
So, how do you prove you love God back? I have often asked myself that question. Jesus gave a way to measure your love for God. Let’s reflect.
Someone says to you, “I love you.” If you are wise, you will expect more than words. Words don’t prove the heart. Actions do. So you are going to also wait and watch. Give the claim of love time. The proof of love is in what a person does, not in what they say.
How God Measures Your Love
Your love back to God needs to be observable, too. Jesus puts it in simple terms. “If you love Me, you will obey Me.” (Jn. 14:15) He is saying your love is only credible – believable – if you show it by what you do. Deut. 11:22 says, “. . . carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow – to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to Him, and to hold fast to Him. . . “
Holding fast to God is pinning yourself to Him. So, loving God is choosing to stick like glue to Him in every thought, word, attitude, and deed. You do that by using your will to make decisions (all day every day) that align your life with God’s Word. Mk. 12:30 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” With your everything.
Summary List of Action Steps to Love God Better
So to truly love God deeply:
- Starts with surrender to Him in everything. (Phil. 3:8)
- Is a choice to be dead to yourself and alive to Him. (Rom. 6:11)
- Is becoming a “living sacrifice.” (Rom. 12:1)
- Is taking care of His interests over your own interests. (Phil. 2:21)
- Is making decisions all day long to trust God and to obey Him no matter what your feelings are doing or how difficult your circumstances are.
Now, that little list proves you really do love the Lord!
Application Thoughts and Questions
- Jesus loves you and proved it. Are you enjoying His love each day?
- You can curl up in the comfort of God’s love by faith. Yet, please don’t stop there. That’s a beautiful place to live – in God’s love. Do curl up in your heart close to God – but that is more of a child’s response to love.
- In what ways can you express a more grown up love for God?
- How do you answer Jesus’ question – “Do you love Me?” Specifically – how will you prove you love God in your patterns and habits each day?
God will never stop loving you. He will never leave you or forsake you.