How do you know if something is good or bad? If it real or a fake imitation? We find proof one way or another. I know a good donut because I have tasted it or had a reference from someone whom I trust his or her judgment and skill. Encountering something helps me to determine the truth.
A couple of weeks ago, we discussed Peter’s restoration by Jesus Christ after Christ had been resurrected. Peter in John 13:37 declared “I will lay down my life for you.” Words are easy to proclaim in some moments when the reality of what they really mean are not before us. Have you ever said “I will do something…” or “I will never do…” and then in a moment when this reality is before us and the reality of those words paled in comparison to the truth, you end up doing the opposite of what you said you would do? Most of us, if we are real, would say we have been at this place more than we care to confess. You and I are more like Peter than we realize.
Yet Christ comes to him after his resurrection and offers him forgiveness and restores him. John 21:15-19 captures this scene and Jesus asks Peter, “Do you love me?” I think another way to ask this question is “Do you trust me?” It is easy to say you do, but do the actions of your life prove it? Jesus is asking Peter to step up and fulfill his word – live it out, prove it, proclaim it, bank on it!
What about you? If Jesus asked you these questions – “Do you love me?” or “Do you trust me?” What would you say? Do your actions prove it? Do my actions prove it? I have asked myself numerous times this question. Even if we have blown it, Christ offers us forgiveness and says again “Do you love me?”
Paul in Philippians 2 says:
14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children” of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”[c] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. It is not always easy to let our actions, but we are not the only ones who have encountered this, but it is possible to do it. To prove we truly love Jesus.
May we be encouraged that he is with us and that we don’t journey alone. He is with us and as we journey with him. May we shine God’s light in this dark world and proclaim through our words and our actions that we DO love Jesus!