John 21:15-17 – 15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, 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 a second time, “Simon, son of John, 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 John, 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 everything; you know that I love you…”
Do you love Jesus?
Well, due to how deceitful our hearts are and how unknowable our intentions are, we don’t have the authority to decide whether or not we truly love Jesus; we simply cannot trust our own subjective opinion. And why would you risk your eternity on it. Only Scripture has the authority to issue such accurate, objective criteria capable of proving our love for Jesus. Scripture offers us at least 4 proofs that verify our love for Jesus and, subsequently, our status as Christians. (The following points were drawn from a sermon by Tom Pennington. April, 2016.)
- Is He more valuable to you than anything in this world?
Matthew 13:44-46 – 44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. 45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, 46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
Philippians 3:7-8 – 7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ
Is your affection for Jesus greater than it is for anyone else, including yourself
Luke 14:25-27 – 25 Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
Matthew 10:37-39 – 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Romans 12:1 – I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
- Do you love other Christians/His people/the Church?
John 21:17 – He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, 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 everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
1 John 3:10, 14, 17-18 – 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
1 John 4:7-8, 21 – 7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
- Do you obey His commands?
John 14:21 – Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
1 John 2:5 – But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him
1 John 5:2-3 – 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
*This is not about perfection, though there should be a directional pattern in your life that is notable.