“Do You Love Me?” ~Jesus.
I remember when I was 13 years of age watching my mother struggle to provide for my sister and me. Daddy was gone and refused to pay child support. Mother worked five and half days making 58 dollars a week. Needless to say, it was a most difficult time. I saw her great sacrifice and attempted to prove my love and appreciation by helping her everyway that I knew how. I mowed the yard, trimmed with hand clippers, cleaned, and cooked. Don’t we desire to bless the one’s we love?
Mother sacrificed for our family; but oh, the great sacrifice that Jesus made for us – His life. He became our sin; yes, He paid our sin debt. He bore our sickness and disease. He was oppressed so that we could have peace. He provides food, water, shelter, love, clothing ...We could go on and on. I can never thank Him enough.
The book of John declares to us that Jesus had appeared to His disciples following His resurrection. They were exceedingly glad. The third time that Jesus appears to His disciples He has prepared a meal for them on the sea shore (John 21). Following the meal, Jesus asks Peter three times, “Do you love me?” Peter affirmed his love to Jesus each time with Jesus replying, “Feed my sheep.” “Feed” means to “nourish.” To nourish is to give food, water, and all that ministers health. There is also a nourishing by sharing Jesus Christ, His Word, and His care. Jesus knew that soon Peter, the other disciples, and His people would be His hands of love and nourishment to the world because He would ascend to the Father. Obviously, Jesus is expressing that He is loved when we minister to others. Why? If His church doesn’t reach the world with Who He is, they will perish. God so loves them. Remember, He died for the entire world. Jesus tells us in Matthew 25 that when we feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, take in a stranger, clothe the naked, visit the sick, and visit those in prison, we have done it unto Him.
So, what must we do to get prepared to minister to others? “…Go to Bible school, get a degree, be a leader in the church, or…” There are times for that, but God calls us right where we are. One translation of 1 John 4:19 reads, “Let us love because God loved us first.” We have the nature of God to love because we are born of Love; God is Love. So, what are we waiting for? Who lives near you that is needing an encouraging word, a meal, a touch from the Lord, a visit, …? How much do we really love the Lord? Then, I believe that we will “go to our Jerusalem” (Acts 1:8).
Our Lord speaks to us today, “…whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant; Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mt. 20:26-28). We all have different calls; but if you were an orphan in India and had no shelter, food, water, or clothing, would you want a theological message or a Mother Teresa? We know that she surely ministered to thousands of needy children. She was a channel of Jesus’ great love as she cared first for their physical needs, then their spiritual. There are so many ways that we can minister the Love of Jesus to the world. When you reach out a helping hand to a needy person, they will want to know your Lord.