Our Devotion to God
When Jesus showed Himself to the apostles for the third time after His resurrection, He invited them all to breakfast (John 21). After they had eaten, He asked Simon Peter, “Do you love me?” three times. Each time he was asked, Simon Peter answered, “You know that I love you.” It is interesting that Jesus uses the word agape as His word for love. As if to say, “Simon, do you love me unconditionally?” However, Simon replies using the word phileo. So, Simon Peter’s answer to Jesus is, “ Lord, you know I love you as a brother.” Jesus then responds to Peter by telling him to take care of His sheep and follow Him. Jesus is indicating to Peter that devoted love requires action.
John 3:16 (ESV) reads, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” God’s only son was Jesus Christ. He displayed His love for God and His children by living in obedience, even to death on the cross. 1 Timothy 1:15-16 explains the reason for God’s act of love when he says, “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.”
One day, Jesus comes across a rich young ruler who asks Him what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus tells the rich man to keep God’s commandments. The rich man replies, “Teacher, all these I have kept since I was a boy.” (Mark 10:20) Jesus then explains that there is one last thing he could do: he could donate all he has to the poor and then devote his life to exemplifying Jesus’ teachings. The rich young ruler then felt depressed because he valued his possessions on Earth more than the treasures He could gain in Heaven. The rich man claimed to love God and His teachings. When he was told to act on his faith, however, he decided it was too much and abandoned his faith.
God’s love is so strong for His children who embrace Him that He promises to never abandon them. In Mark 28:19-20, Jesus says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” God loves us unconditionally. How devoted are you to unconditionally loving Him back?