When asked about the most important commandment of all, Jesus responded, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. This is the first commandment (Mark 12:30). It is not one of the ten; nevertheless, He said it was the most important and the second is to love your neighbor as yourself. Now, I happen to know that I haven’t gotten to the place where I love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. I want to, but it is not something we can do as humans. It is something God has to create within us. We love Him because He first loved us (I John 4:19). Our love for Him increases as we receive His love for us.
You remember Peter’s problem; he had denied the Lord three times. Jesus had told Peter that he would deny Him (John 13:38). Even after hearing that, Peter denied Him! Well, we can’t think too harshly of Peter. After all, how many times have we denied the Lord? All of us have denied Him many times and thought nothing about it.
John 21:14-17 This is now the third time that Jesus showed Himself to His
disciples, after that He was risen from the dead.
15 So when they had dined, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me more than these? He said unto Him, Yea, Lord; You know that I love Thee. He said unto him, Feed My lambs.
16 He said to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me? He said unto Him, Yea, Lord; You know that I love Thee. He said unto him, Feed My sheep.
17 He said unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me? Peter was grieved because He said unto him the third time, Lovest thou Me? And he said unto Him, Lord, You know all things; You know that I love Thee. Jesus said unto him, Feed My sheep.
If you have ever wondered how you are supposed to love the Lord, this would be a good scripture to read. How do you show your love for Him? Well, strange thing, Jesus didn’t give Peter any instructions on how to express his love to Him. He said, “Be a feeder. First of all, feed My lambs – the little ones. Feed My sheep.” He gives Peter a job to do. If you love the Lord, what happens? He gives you a job a do, a very important job, a job of being a feeder, a job of ministry.
If you really want to express your love for the Lord, Jesus gives a very good way to do it in John 21. The problem, though, is that most of us can’t do it. Many things must be accomplished before you can start being a feeder. It is something you have to learn. You have to really love the Lord which is exactly what He wants you to do. What are you called to do? “Well, I think my purpose in life is to worship the Lord. I’ve been called to worship; I’m a worshiper.” That’s great!
A worshiper is one who loves the Lord. It is the love you have for Him that causes you to worship. As your love for Him grows you will learn to love Him wherever He is found, and since He is coming forth in others you will find yourself loving the Christ in them, too. Do you remember the parable Jesus gave of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31-46)? He blessed the sheep and spoke judgment on the goats. The goats didn’t understand so He explained, I was hungry, and you gave Me no meat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger, and you took Me not in; naked, and you clothed Me not; sick, and in prison, and you visited Me not. The goat-Christians were unaware of the Christ in others. Christ in some was naked and needed to be clothed with the garments of salvation, but the goat-Christians did nothing. The Christ in others were weak and needed to be nourished, but the goats were unaware. They said, “When did we not do these things for you, Lord? We worshiped you in every church service.” And Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to Me. Can you recognize Christ in your brothers and sisters? What does He need? Is He hungry? Thirsty? Is He imprisoned and not moving through your brother as He should? Minister to Him! Set Him free! Love Him in your brother until your brother becomes all that he can be in Christ.
“Peter, do you love Me?”
“Yes, Lord, You know that I love You.”
“Feed My sheep. Be a feeder.”
Your flesh nature will oppose that. Be a feeder! Partake of all that you can of the Lord so you can become a feeder, a giver, one dedicated to being a blessing. It is not to build you up before others. It is not for you to be blessed; it is for them to be blessed. Now look further in John 21. In verse 18 Jesus continues to minister to Peter.
John 21:18-19 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When
you were young, you girded
yourself, and walked whither you would; but when you shall be old (mature),
you shall stretch forth your hands, and another shall gird you, and carry you
whither you would not.
19 This spoke He, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said unto him, Follow Me.
“Peter, when you were young you walked where you would. But when you come under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, you are not going to walk according to your way anymore. You will walk according to the directions of the Lord. Another will gird you and you will carry out His will.”
I am sure by this time you have realized that God doesn’t think like we do. His interests are usually quite different from our interests. It is easy to feel what you want is God’s will for you. “I know this is the will of God for me. I just got a Word to my heart. God spoke to me and I know this is it.” Chances are it isn’t it. What you feel in your own mind probably isn’t the will of God. It takes a lot of mistakes to find the will of God. More and more in your walk with God, you will find yourself moving in a different direction from what your mind would tell you. You will walk in a different way. “Peter, while you were a young Christian, you walked according to your own way of thinking. That is basically where most Christians are. They say, “I love the Lord.” They worship and do all kinds of things, but they are doing mostly what they want to do. They are trying to bring the Lord into their life rather than forsaking their life and coming into Him. But as you grow and become mature, you will begin walking in a way that you would not have walked before. That is called being subject to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
We yet have a lot to learn about the Lordship of Jesus Christ over us. We are still, too often, doing what the supreme court of our mind is directing rather than the Lord. It is not an easy thing to make that switch over to where you are being led by the Spirit instead of being led by your own carnal thinking. That just doesn’t happen in a skinny minute. It takes time. We are just beginning to learn how the Lord thinks. Here is a novel idea. Do you love the Lord? Feed His sheep! Be a feeder!
You remember the slave that served for seven years and was set free (Exodus 21:1-6)? He decided he loved his master and wanted to continue serving him, so the master took him around to the doorpost and put the awl in his earlobe. It is interesting that it was done at the doorpost. That meant from that point on he had access to the master’s house. He was no longer serving out of duty; he was serving out of love.
There are many different kinds of love. Parents have a way of loving their children that is not determined by the way their children act. Children love their parents, but mostly they think about themselves. A little child is self-centered. That’s the way we are as young Christians. We know what we want, but the parent comes to the place where they sacrifice for the children. We want to become mature Christians. We want a mature love that is not interested in just receiving but interested in giving. Lord, help us to get to the place where we really want to serve You and love You and be serious about it. Help us to go even beyond that to love You in the brethren, to love the Christ in them. Make us feeders, Lord.
Now the Christ in your brother may not look real good at first, but that is where we are to direct the love of the Lord. Just saying, “I’m a worshiper” is not enough. Do you love the Lord? Feed His sheep. Then say, “Lord, I need some revelation and perception so that I know who Your sheep are. I need to be aware of Your presence in them. Then you have to have something to feed. Lo and behold, what you feed is not doctrines, concepts or ideas, not even morals. What you must feed is life, His life.
This spoke He, signifying by what death he should glorify God. Oh my, He did have to get death in there. That is what it takes – a dying out to self. You can’t be a feeder and be a self-centered person.
John 21:19-22 This spoke He, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And
when He had spoken this, He said unto him, Follow Me.
20 Then Peter, turning about, sees the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on His breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrays Thee?
21 Peter seeing him said to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?
22 Jesus said unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou Me.
In other words, don’t be concerned about what the other guy is going to do. You have your instructions – be a feeder. God has a purpose for your life. What is that purpose? Be a feeder!
Copyright © 2007 by Henry DuBose