Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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April 19 – Do You Love Me?

“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.'” John 21:17

Devotional Thought For The Day

Sorry about missing the devotion yesterday – I was at our Spring pastor’s conference. Spending time with fellow pastors is almost always uplifting – it is evident how much they love the Lord Jesus and how much they are willing to endure in order to “feed” the precious sheep of the Good Shepherd, our Lord Jesus Christ. They are a strange lot – for the most part bereft of the trappings of earthly success and the things that most people take so much pride in. They lack most of the characteristics that so many people respect – they are humble, gentle, soft-spoken, plain looking, deeply committed to piety, deeply repentant, and what most people would consider fanatical and superstitious in their faith in God and their view of life.

To be around such people insists that we personally hear the question that Jesus asked Peter. It is a rather simple question: “Do you love Me?” As with Peter, it is grievous that the Lord should have to ask, and this points us to consider what the ambiguities might be in our lives that require the question. It is even more grievous to examine the many things that cover over and contradict our love for Jesus, a hardness of heart and life that projects a lack of love for Him. It is in such reflection and repentance, and the peace and joy of His long-suffering forgiveness, that we grow in our love for Jesus, and get back in touch with our real, deep, and heartfelt love for Him. He is our Savior. That He stays with us, continues to believe in us, trusts us, and is willing patiently to draw us closer to Himself reveals the depth of His love for us.

What is it that we are to “feed” to the precious sheep of our dear Savior?  This is picture language for the teaching of His Word – as is clear from many passages in Holy Scripture.  In the book of Hebrews we read: “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” [Heb. 5:12-14] The simplest and most fundamental food for Christians is “the word of righteousness,” the good news of that perfect righteousness which God freely and graciously accounts to all those who believe in Jesus. When this is mastered one also feeds the Word of God which “distinguishes good from evil.”  This is precisely what these dear humble pastors have devoted their lives to, without consideration of what profit or gain is in it for them. And for this, they are for the most part despised by “busy, successful, wealthy, and prominent” people, and in many instances even abused by the arrogant. Still, they endure and persevere, for they do love Jesus.

As dear sheep of the Savior, let us receive the food of His Word which He has commanded His under-shepherds to feed us with. May we not despise them or fail to see their love of Jesus. For the same question awaits each of us – “Do you love Me?” Such love will be expressed toward Jesus in our love for those who feed us His Word. And when thus fed, we too are privileged to feed others the same.

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, You do know all things – all of our inconsistencies, ambivalence, and contradictions, and also our real and genuine love for You. Help us to reflect that love in faithfulness to Your Word and Your will. Amen.