The greatest commandment, according to Jesus, is to love God with all of our being. But, how do we know if we truly love God?
An easy test for your love of God is whether or not you are ready to serve him. If you would rather have the emotional thrill of an effective worship service than serve God then you are not truly loving God with all of you. If you are pleased with the Christian things you can consume but don’t want to serve God then you are not truly loving God with all of you. If you are infatuated with the values of God but aren’t willing to serve him then you are not truly loving God with all of you. If you are so attached to your Christian community but aren’t willing to leave it to serve God then you are not truly loving God with all of you. This idea convicts me.
The resurrected Jesus on the shores of the Sea of Tiberius confronts his old friend Peter with three repeats of the same question, “Do you love me?” Peter responds that he does love Jesus and then Jesus tells him how he can prove his love. Jesus tells Peter to feed and tend to his sheep.
Jesus is not asking Peter to pet-sit his livestock while he is away; he is telling Peter to serve him by providing spiritual sustenance to his current and future followers. Jesus knows that the Kingdom revolution has just started and he needs someone he can trust to lead and guide that revolution. Peter is that person and Jesus needs to know if he truly loves him.
I have to demonstrate my love for my daughters by not just telling them I love them but demonstrating it through service, provision, and care. My words of love are powerful but only if I back them up by providing for their needs, serving them, and caring for them in a tangible way.
When Jesus gives you the Shores of Tiberius test and then directs you to prove your answers; will you be ready? If not, then you have some Growing Up to do. Start by rereading the Gospels to learn about Jesus’ ways and character. Then, do an inventory of your service to him and determine what actions can be taken immediately to show your love for him.