Do You Love Me?
I will go ahead and preface this writing by saying this: It is just crazy how some of these WMD’s come about.
Do you love me? — John 21:16
I used to love the rock band KISS back in the day. I did what just about every other aspiring guitar player in the world used to do . . . I pretended to be Ace Frehley, like daily. I recently ran across my dad’s old “Destroyer” album. I pretty much wore that thing out as a teenager. Of course, I was a whopping one year old when that album actually came out. Anyway, there is a song on there called “Do you love me?” The song basically says “you like all of my money, fame, places I can take you, and things I can do for you . . . But . . . Do you love me?” The writer is wrestling with a rich man’s problem: Does this person love me for who I am? Or is this person only hanging around
because of my money and my status?
After being a twelve year old for a few minutes, my mind drifted to Jesus when he said these words to Peter in John 21. Three times Jesus asked Peter “do you love me?” Why?
Well, Peter had given up his walk with Jesus. He picked the fishing nets back up and simply went back to his old life. Remember that Jesus had said to Peter “follow me and I’ll make you fishers of men.“ Peter gladly walked away from his current life. But here in John 21, he had quit. Peter had gone back to his old life. I wonder if Jesus felt like the writer of the KISS song. Peter loved seeing the miracles, loved hearing Jesus teach, loved seeing Jesus interact with people, and basically loved seeing Him be the Almighty Son of God. Peter loved everything that Jesus did for him. But, did Peter love Jesus? Or, did Peter simply love the things that Jesus could do for him?
That is the question He is asking me today.
That is the question He is asking you.
The truth is, I love what He has done for me. I wanted to be a rock-n-roll star . . . He made me a teacher and a preacher. I prayed that he would make my elementary school girlfriend my wife . . . He gave me Tonya when I was 24 (and actually had a job). I prayed that people
would want to listen to my wonderfully written songs and guitar solos . . . He made it so that people listen to me teach His Holy Word. I asked for money and fame . . . He gave me peace and contentment. In no way, and I mean in absolutely no way, has He ripped me off. All of these things required a period months or years where I laid down what I wanted while waiting patiently to receive what He wanted for me. This is never an easy thing to do. I may have felt ripped off in the short term, but in the long run, He has done nothing but make my life better. Following Him and His ways have benefited me.
But, do I love Him?
I’m wrestling with that question. I want to love Him with all of my heart. I want to serve Him with everything that I am. I want my life to point others to Him and honor Him in all of my ways. I want my heart to be pure. I want to want Him more than anything. I want do what He wants me to do and not do the things He doesn’t want me to do. I want to deny myself, take up my cross, and follow Him.
But, sometimes I don’t. I get it wrong more than I get it right. What does this mean?
I knew I wasn’t preaching this past Sunday. I tried and tried to come up with a Sermon for the next Sunday in which I would be preaching. I wanted God to go ahead and give it to me. He didn’t. He basically told me “I’ll give you the sermon when I want you to have it . . .
Never too soon, and never too late.” I realized right then and there, I was serving for the wrong reasons. I had spent a whole week wanting God to do something for me. I wanted Him to give me something. I focused on the Bible and I focused on preaching, but I missed out on the most important thing . . . Him. I never focused on Him.
The only reason I write this tonight is pretty simple. I stepped outside, looked up in the clear night sky at the beautiful stars and felt Him. No words. No effort. It was just a moment where I remembered how great and awesome and powerful He is. I remembered just how small and frail I am in comparison. I remembered just how awesome it is that He even takes a man like me into consideration.
One more time He wrapped His loving arms around me. I remembered what it was all about in the first place.
His love for me.
His love for you.
I do love You, Lord. There is none like You!