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Summary: For Peter to lead the early church his overwhelming drive must exemplify supreme love for his Lord.

Walking In the Love of God Text: John 21:15-17

15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” 16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.

The meaning of this passage hinges upon the usage of two synonyms for love. In terms of interpretation, when two synonyms are placed in close proximity in context, a difference in meaning, however slight, is emphasized.

When Jesus asked Peter if he loved him, he used a word for love that signified total commitment. Peter responded with a word for love that signified his love for Jesus, but not necessarily his total commitment.

By all likelihood Peter remembers his denial of Jesus, along with his other blunders, so he doesn’t seem worthy. Peter is reluctant to make a claim of supreme devotion.

Jesus is saying, “Do you love me unconditionally?” While Peter answers, “I love you as a brother or friend.”

For Peter to lead the early church his overwhelming drive must exemplify supreme love for his Lord.

Remember Matthew 16,18NLT Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.

In Acts 2, 13-18NLT But others in the crowd ridiculed them, saying, “They’re just drunk, that’s all!”14 Then Peter stepped forward with the eleven other apostles and shouted to the crowd, “Listen carefully, all of you, fellow Jews and residents of Jerusalem! Make no mistake about this. 15 These people are not drunk, as some of you are assuming. Nine o’clock in the morning is much too early for that. 16 No, what you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel: 17 ‘In the last days,’ God says,‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. 18 In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants—men and women alike—and they will prophesy.

John 21:17cNLT… Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.

Peter connected with Jesus!

God’s love is filled with action. Anyone can say, “I love you.” However, it’s another thing to show love.

John Wesley once said, “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can.

Here’s 10 not- so- common courtesies love can bring: 1. Go out of your way to speak to people. 2. Try to remember their names- it shows you value them. 3. Smile; it increases your face value. 4. Be friendly and helpful. 5. Show genuine interest. 6. Be generous. 7. Be slow to judge. 8. Instead of "using" others, serve them. 9. Start trusting people. 10. Be humble.

My question unto you is, “Do you love Him?” Jesus’ rebuttal is, feed My lambs, feed My sheep, feed My sheep.”

I Corinthians 2, 1-5NKJ Paul wrote, And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

Paul is saying, “My love wasn’t just with words, but my love was mixed with faith and demonstration.”

* The world should see our love! Listen to this paraphrase from Matthew 25. I was hungry and you formed a humanities club and discussed my hunger. I was imprisoned and you crept off quietly to your chapel and prayed for my release. I was naked and in your mind you debated the morality of my appearance. I was sick and you knelt and thanked God for your health. I was homeless and you preached to me of the spiritual shelter of the love of God. I was lonely and you left me alone to pray for me. You seem so holy, so close to God; but I am still very hungry, and lonely, and cold.

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