In John 21, Jesus challenged Peter to honestly evaluate his love. What (or who) captured Peter's heart when it came to love? Did the miracles captivate Peter? What about the meeting with like minded friends? Maybe it was the miracles or the ministry? Jesus clearly identified Peter's weakness as he challenged Peter's focus. Three times he asked Peter, "Do you love me?" Three times Peter answered, with the third response taking on a different approach. The deeper look into his own heart compelled Peter to ask himself some serious questions we asked in the morning message. If you have found your way to this post, you have hopefully decided that you want to spend a little more time at the table, digesting the serving the Holy Spirit provided Sunday. (If this verbiage is confusing and you haven't listened to Sunday's message, consider going to www.vimeo.com/AlanPermenter to find the message from May 3, 2020.
This week would you look deeper by asking these questions? Search the scriptures for answers and consider leaving some comments about what the Lord teaches you this week.
1. Whose leadership am I following? How do I know whose leadership I am following? Well, I thought that one way I could know would be to take note of what I spend my time reading and listening to during this pandemic. Am I listening to and reading from news reports, government sites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter? Or am I looking to God's word? Am I listening to godly teaching? The one I follow is the one who is leading me.
2. Whose lifestyle am I modeling? During this quarantine, most of us have stayed home, which actually lets us look even deeper into our lives. We can't evaluate lifestyle by the places we are going, the folks we are hanging out with, etc. The typical evaluations are no longer relevant. Instead, I want to look more deeply to see what lifestyle I have been living during the stay at home order. Have I totally forgotten my physical well being? Have I spent time helping others and/or reaching out to those who may need a friend? Have I disregarded responsibilities? Have I been angry, snappy, sad? The lifestyle I model communicates who I really want to be like.
3. Whose love am I reflecting? Lots of blame gets thrown around during times like these. Whose fault is it that the virus came to the US? Who is to blame for the economic situation? The lack of unemployment checks? The reports from the media? Why would he leave his house without a mask? Why would she feel the need to wear that to Publix? Why would .... You can likely feel in the blank. Jesus reflected Compassion and Conviction. The world reflects a love that is self serving and me centered. Whose love are you reflecting?
Take these questions and spend the entire week asking the Lord to give you answers. Search scriptures. Call someone and talk about it. Pray hard. Use this week to dig deeper to make sure that the one you love is the One who loved you first.