4/27/2014 Do You Love Me? 1

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1 "Do You Love Me?" God loves us, and He wants each of us to love Him. Hello, I m Phil Sanders. And this is a Bible study, In Search of the Lord s Way. And today we re asking the question, What does love ask me to do? Stay with us and find out. Welcome to In Search of the Lord s Way! We re here to search the Scriptures for God s will. We know God is gracious and loving; He provides for us every blessing of life. And we re so grateful to God for life and every good thing, that we feel the need to respond to Him. The Scriptures inform us as how God has provided for us and how we should respond to Him. Now everyone who gives love wants to be loved in return. When Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself upon the cross, He showed to us an undeniable love. We shouldn t be surprised, then, that the Lord Jesus wants our love and commitment. Thanks for taking time with us today; and we want to be a part of your life each week. I became a Christian because of the love of Jesus. His love, His power, His teaching, His wisdom, His truthfulness, His compassion won my heart and my loyalty. I became a Christian because of the grace and forgiveness Christ offered. I knew that I needed His grace. And I wanted to go to heaven, and I didn t want to be lost eternally. Jesus Christ bore a cross to demonstrate His love, and He gives us a cross to bear as well. Christianity is a daily commitment to the cause of Christ. The Lord Jesus said in Luke 9 verses 23 to 25, that If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? My friend, have you made a loving commitment to the Lord? Now we offer this month s studies free in a little booklet called Loving God. If you d like a copy or a CD of our study and you live in the United States, mail your request to In Search of the Lord s Way, P.O. Box 371, Edmond, OK or send an to Or you can call our tollfree telephone number. That number is Now if you live outside the United States, you can get our materials free online, at The Edmond church will now worship in song, we ll read from John 21:15 to 17, and we ll see how Jesus wants us to love Him. Our reading today comes from the Gospel according to John, chapter 21, verses 15 to 17. So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these? And he said to Him, Yes, Lord; You know that I love You. He said to him, Tend My lambs. He said to him a second time, Simon, son of John, do you love Me? He said to Him, Yes, Lord; You know that I love You. He said to him, Shepherd My sheep. 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 all things; You know that I love You. Jesus said to him, Tend My sheep. That s a wonderful occasion between our Lord and the apostle Peter. Let s pray together. Father, help us to love you and to demonstrate our love to you in everything that we do. Father, we re grateful for Your love, and we know that You ve sent Your Son to die for us. Help us to live and love toward You. In Jesus name, Amen! Some people today believe in a designer Christianity. They think they can make up their own blend of religion, and God will be satisfied. Some think God ought to be happy with anything that we offer to Him. You know, it s almost as if God owed us and He ought to be happy that we give anything to Him in the way of service or worship. Many forget that God created us; we didn t create Him. They forget that we re dependent upon God, but He s not dependent upon us. They forget that Jesus died 4/27/2014 Do You Love Me? 1

2 for our sins to rescue us from sin and spiritual death. Christianity isn t something that we design as we like; it s a revealed faith from God that we should follow. We owe our very soul s salvation to God. And our soul is worth more than the whole world. Let s get serious about our faith. What do we owe Jesus? Well first, you and I owe Jesus our love. You know, after Peter denied Jesus three times on the night that Jesus was taken into custody, Jesus now confronts Peter. And the Bible records their conversation in John 21:15 to 17: So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of John, do you love Me (and then He says) more than these? And he said to Him, Yes, Lord; You know that I love You. And He said to him, Tend My lambs. He said a second time, (again a second time to him), Simon, son of John, do you love Me? And he said to Him, Yes, Lord; You know that I love You. He said to him, Shepherd My sheep. He said to him the third time, Simon, son of John, do you love Me? (And the Bible says), Peter was grieved (and I would be too) because He said to him the third time, Do you love Me? And he said to Him, Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You. And Jesus said to him, Tend My sheep. Now loving is so important, but you know what I ve learned, that I have to learn to love somebody. The Bible teaches us how we re supposed to show our love for Jesus. And the Lord said in John 14 and verse 15, If you love Me, you ll keep My commandments. Now, I can t claim to love the Lord and rebel against the things that Jesus teaches. I can t claim to love the Lord and then make fun of the will of God or claim the Lord doesn t teach the truth. How I love the Lord is by listening to his Word and obeying it. If I love the Lord, I ll draw close to Him and I ll worship Him. I can t claim to love the Lord if I never take time to worship Him. The Bible says in Hebrews 10 verses 24 to 25, let us consider how to stimulate one another and to love and good deeds, not forsaking our assembling together, (our own assembling together) as the habit of some is, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. How can you say to the Lord that you really love Him, if you never worship at church. What does that say to God? Now you might be pleased with yourself, but is God pleased with you? You can t love God on your terms, your own terms, and never consider what God wants or desires. What kind of love is that? Our worship must be real and come from our hearts. God knows our hearts. And some people go to religious concerts and they think they ve worshiped because they heard something religious coming to them. But no matter how moving a concert is, God wants something different from you. What He wants is your heart, your lips and your life, not as a spectator but as a participant. The Lord Jesus said in John 4 verses 23 to 24, But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. Now, genuine worship comes from our loving hearts and it honors the God of heaven. We must never confuse religious entertainment with worship. You see, genuine love seeks to honor the Lord. Second, I owe Jesus my loyalty. Now since I belong to Him, I ought to wear His name and never be ashamed to own Him as my Lord. Colossians 3 and verse 17 says, And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Now as church members, we re the bride of Christ, and you know what, we ought to wear His name. I don t understand why some separate the name of Christ from the church. We re blessed to wear the name of Christian and to be a member of the church that belongs to Jesus Christ. Jesus built the church, He purchased it with his own blood, and He serves as the head of church, and is the Savior of the 4/27/2014 Do You Love Me? 2

3 church. Why wouldn t the church want to wear his name? Why wouldn t a Christian honor Christ in every aspect of his life? The Lord Jesus said in Luke 9 and verse 26, For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. Some folks are simply ashamed to admit that they are Christians and that they go to church. They d rather stay silent than to be ridiculed for their faith by the world. Well what kind of loyalty is that? The apostle Paul who died for his faith said in Galatians 2 and verse 20, I have been crucified with Christ; and it s no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. That, my friend, is loyalty to Jesus Christ! And we need that kind of loyalty! Jesus needs to live in our hearts and in our lives. Yes, we need loyalty like that! We can t accept the world s morals and claim loyalty to Jesus. Our lives must show our faith. The Bible says in Ephesians 5 verses 15 to 17, Therefore be careful how you walk (that is how you live), not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Unfortunately, some Christians live like they ve never heard of Jesus or read a Bible. Their mouths are full of ungodly words and their actions show that they don t care about Jesus Christ. 1 John 2 and verse 6 says, that the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk (that is to live) in the same manner as Jesus (lived or) walked. You know, if we re to be loyal to Christ, then let s live lives worthy of the name of Christ, and really be Christians. The Lord Jesus said in Matthew 6 and verse 24, That no one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he ll be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (or money). Some people live to make money, and nothing else matters. If you make money your god, then Jesus won t be. You know, this is true of anything. You can t serve two masters faithfully. You ll decide to follow one and reject the other. And if you wear the name of Christ, then serve Him. Don t let anything come between you and the Lord. The apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5 verses 9 and 10, So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him (that is the Lord). For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. My friend, do you please the Lord Jesus Christ? Third, I owe Jesus my obedience. He is, after all, the one and only LORD, and he is my LORD. Jesus led the way when it comes to obedience. You see, Jesus was willing to sacrifice everything in order to accomplish the will of His Father. Jesus said in John 10 verses 17 to 18, For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father. Now Jesus willingly laid down His life for our sakes, because He received the commandment from His Father. He didn t argue with Father; He didn t ask to be excused; and He didn t recommend someone else go to the cross. He acted because He had authority from the Father to act. His Father loved Him for it, and the Father loves us when we serve Him from a pure and loving heart. Jesus asks us to obey him by taking up our cross. He knows that He has asked us to sacrifice ourselves in order to obey Him. Jesus himself knows what it is to sacrifice in order to obey. My friend, obedience is necessary if we are to please God. Jesus once asked, Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and not do what I tell you? (Luke 6 and verse 46). If we want Jesus as our Savior, we must also recognize Him as our Lord. If we recognize Him as Lord, then we ought to do whatever He commands, 4/27/2014 Do You Love Me? 3

4 go wherever He sends, and be whatever He asks. Obedience means we submit our will to His will. We don t excuse ourselves from our duty; we don t act on our own without God s authority. And we don t argue with God; we serve Him. Obedience means I ll follow Christ and keep His teaching regardless of the cost. I ll follow Jesus, because I trust Him to save me and to lead me in the right path. I ll follow Jesus even when I don t understand. I don t know everything; and God sees and knows things I ll never know. And I trust God, and I trust my Lord Jesus. I ll follow Jesus when it s easy and I ll follow Jesus when it s difficult. The straight and narrow road may not seem easy, but it s the only road to eternal life. I ll follow Jesus whether anybody else does or not. My friends, they may not go with me; they may even ridicule me for following Jesus. But I won t take any other course than to follow my Lord. Fourth, I owe Jesus my sacrifice. A chaplain was speaking to a soldier who was on a cot in a hospital, he had been injured. And he said, You have lost an arm in the great cause," said the chaplain. "No," said the soldier with a smile. "I didn't lose an arm - I gave it." And in that same way, Jesus didn t lose His life at the cross. He gave it purposefully. He gave His head to a crown of thorns, He gave his back to a terrible scourging, He gave his side to a spear, He gave his hands and feet to the nails, He shed his blood for our sins, and He yielded up his spirit to God. Jesus knew what it was to give of Himself. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 8 and verse 9, For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. Again 1 Peter 2 and verse 24 says, He himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. For by his wounds you have been healed. Jesus made a very personal and very costly sacrifice so that you could have forgiveness and eternal life. Why does all this matter? Because if we love the Lord, we ll show our love by our worship, our service, our obedience, and our sacrifice. We ll never stop being loyal. The Father sacrificed His beloved Son so that we might live. Many never give it that a second thought. Do you? I certainly hope you will. Let s pray together. Father, help us to give Jesus more than just a simple thought. But to dedicate our lives to Him and to serve You our Father. In Jesus name we pray, Amen! Have you considered the ultimate sacrifice that Christ made on your behalf? Will you commit your life to Him to serve Him? To become a Christian one must put his trust in the Lord and be willing to follow His teaching. People become Christians because they come to know the love of God through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. You remember Jesus said in John 12 and verse 32, And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself. Be drawn to Christ and His love. Be drawn to leave an old life of sin and take on a new life of righteousness and love. Be willing to confess the name of Jesus before others and to wear His name, so that everyone knows who you are and whose you are. Then out of faith and love, be baptized into the death of Christ, where he shed His blood. That s when the blood of Jesus cleanses you from sin. Baptism unites us with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection. Colossians 2 verses 12 to 13 says, having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions. At baptism, we have a forgiven, new life. God raises us up with Christ, and the Lord adds us to His church. When we re baptized, God makes us his children and heirs of eternal life with Christ. We die with Christ in baptism so that we may live with him forever. My friend, I pray that you will give yourself to him. I pray you ll put your trust in Him, repent of all your sins, confess Him, and be baptized. Don t put it off. Be baptized today! 4/27/2014 Do You Love Me? 4

5 We hope that today s study about love has stirred you to think about what God says. Now we re offering a free booklet on the love of God. And if you live in the United States and you want a booklet, this booklet we re offering, or a CD of this month s messages, mail your request to In Search of the Lord's Way, P.O. Box 371, Edmond, OK 73083, or send an to Or, you can call the Search office toll-free at Now if you live outside the United States you can download our material free, online at our website: We also offer free Bible Correspondence courses, and Bible study sheets. Now don t worry, we won t ask you for money, if you get a hold of us, and we won t put you on a list. Please get involved with a church of Christ. They love you and they support our ministry. And f you re looking for a healthy, Biblical church home, just know that we ll be happy to help you find one. Well, we ll be back next week, Lord willing. God has blessed us with this time we can spend together, and we appreciate it so much. So, keep searching God s Word with us and tell a friend about this program. And as always we say, God bless you and we love you from all of us at In Search of the Lord s Way. 4/27/2014 Do You Love Me? 5

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