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“Do you love Me?”

“Do you love Me?”

Remember that story in the bible where Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?” (John 21:15-17)

In John chapter 21, Jesus appears to His disciples after His resurrection. After they ate breakfast, Jesus asks Simon Peter three times, “Simon, do you love me?”

What we don’t notice, however, is the richness of the word Jesus used for “love” in these three questions.

15 So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love (agape) Me more than these?” He said* to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love (phileo) You.” He said to him, “Tend My lambs.”

16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love (agape) Me?” He said* to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love (phileo) You.” He said* to him, “Shepherd My sheep.”

17 He said* to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love (phileo) Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love (phileo) Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love (phileo) You.” Jesus said* to him, “Tend My sheep.

If we read it like this, we can almost picture a scene similar to when one would profess his love to his beloved, only to be friendzoned. Jesus is saying, Peter I love you this much! The Agape kind of love. But Peter, in his hesitation, could only muster up enough love to say, Yes, Jesus. I do love you… you know the brotherly kind.

We read in 1 John 4:8 that God is love (agape). Agape love is an unconditional, deep kind of love. It points back to God’s kind of love, so we can see Peter’s hesitance to say the word back. It means to ‘prefer,’ that is, to prefer what God prefers. To ‘prefer’ others means to look after their needs above your own. This means to prefer His will above all, and to agape what He agape. Yes, agape would entail that we love what God loves. And God so loved the world (people)… Let’s say that again… To love (agape) God means that we love (agape) what God loves (agape). Love God. Love Others.

Jesus insisted to Peter, If you love me… then take care of the people I love (my sheep).

A new commandment I give to you, that you love (agape) one another: just as I have loved (agape) you, you also are to love (agape) one another. John 13:34

Prayer:
Father, just as we received your agape love. Help us to extend agape love to others. Enable us through the Holy Spirit to love the way You do. In Jesus name, amen.

Declarations:

  • I am deeply, unconditionally loved (agape) by God.
  • His overwhelming love for me makes it easy for me to love others the way He does.
The Declarations Experiment

The Declarations Experiment

There’s a saying that says “whatever we talk a lot about, we get pulled towards”.  For instance, it’s hard to be around people who are always critical or see life as doom-and-gloom. Pretty soon, being around them makes your gloomy and doomy as well! On the other hand, when you have a positive outlook of the future, you tend to talk about and approach your circumstances with optimism. Your life may not be all roses, but you know “God makes all things work for your good”, and “nothing is impossible with Him” so, He holds your future, and you’re in Good Hands!

Simply put, that’s what DECLARATIONS are. They are statements about what is true in the Word of God, whether it’s in your experience right now or not yet. Faith means you believe something before you see it or experience it (See Hebrews 11:1). For instance, when you’re in need of provision and you declare “God is going to meet all my needs according to His riches in glory!!”, you’re actually quoting Philippians 4:19, but you’re emphatically saying it aloud because you know Scripture said it and God is faithful to complete His promises and provide for you.

In Scriptures, God declared “Let there be light” and there was! King David told Goliath “I’m going to cut off your head!” and he didn’t have a sword. All he had was a sling, and yet, he did cut off Goliath’s head with the giant’s own sword. Peter told the lame man he had no silver or gold, but He does have Jesus and then declared “Stand up and walk!” The man leaped and jumped and walked!

The more you declare, the more you speak it out and talk aloud about it, the more you get pulled towards knowing, believing, and trusting that God is going to accomplish what He promised over you!

So, this June, we encourage you to join us in the DECLARATIONS EXPERIMENT. Challenge yourself to speak aloud as many as 100 declarations over your life for 30 days, and then, see how God fulfills His Word of Promise and Life over you!

To get you started, here’s the first 10:

  1. God is good all the time! (Psalm 145:8-9)
  2. He is a good Father and I trust Him regardless of my circumstances. (Romans 8:28-32)
  3. Jesus won absolute victory for me! I am forgiven and free from the enemy’s power! I no longer live under shame or condemnation. (Romans 8:1-4)
  4. I am a new creation! I am not merely a sinner saved by grace. I am a saint! (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  5. In Christ, I am free and empowered to live in His righteousness every day. (Romans 6:5-7)
  6. Every single thing I need was purchased for me at Calvary. (John 19:30)
  7. Jesus provided the answer to my problem before I ever had a problem. It’s easy for me trust Him in all situations! (Ephesians 1:3)
  8. I joyfully experience the astounding, undeserved love of God each and every day. (Romans 5:6-11)
  9. I co-labor with a good God and represent Him through miracles! (1 Cor. 3:9)
  10. It’s easy for me to love, honor and value everyone. (Romans 12:10)

Next, write down all your favorite verses and make more declarations, then say them aloud everywhere, everyday! Have a powerful month ahead!