Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Pastor's Blog

Love seeks to serve 5.7.2017

John 21:14 This was the third time Jesus had appeared to his disciples since he had been raised from the dead.
15 After breakfast Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," Peter replied, "you know I love you." "Then feed my lambs," Jesus told him.
16 Jesus repeated the question: "Simon son of John, do you love me?" "Yes, Lord," Peter said, "you know I love you." "Then take care of my sheep," Jesus said.
17 Once more he asked him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was grieved that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, "Lord, you know everything. You know I love you." Jesus said, "Then feed my sheep.

Good morning and the blessings of God in Christ Jesus to you on this new day of grace. As I stepped outside this morning at around 5 am to come to the church, the birds were singing the praises of their Creator. I thought of how God is experienced in the normal things of life such as the birds singing their songs as they awake to another day and receive the food that their Creator will provide for them. As we see the robins and sparrows, as we see the leaves beginning to come forth and as we feel the warming of the spring sun, we certainly do thank God for all that He daily and richly provides us for this life.

My wife and I were gone last week to spend the weekend up in Embarrass, Minnesota, where I had been asked to come to share a message for the Word of God. I delivered that message from the portion of Scripture that I have placed at the beginning of this writing, which concerns the restoration of Peter and of his recommissioning of his place in the restoration project of God. I have continued to think on the topic of restoration and so I decided to bring a message forth this Sunday on the Great Restorer, focusing on how Peter came to experience His restoration by Jesus. As a result of that significant happening in his life, Peter came to see that following Jesus meant much more than devotion and commitment to Jesus and His teachings.

For Peter came to understand, to know and to experience that he had been restored through the cross and resurrection of Jesus, he had come to the end of himself in his denial of Jesus, but now Jesus had received him back as he was now ready to serve on the basis of love. He would better understand this reality after the great Day of Pentecost, which occurred 50 days after the resurrection of Jesus the Christ.

Have you heard the saying, €œLife is not a destination, but a journey?€ Most us have heard that and it is certainly one that most people are able to relate to. The experiences that we go through in life shape us and mold us. There is not another person in the Bible that we are able to see more of his journey than the Apostle Peter. Jesus called him to the restoration project with the words, €œFollow Me€™ (Matthew 4:19) and He also spoke the same words to Peter in the last part of John 21, the chapter in which our study is from today, telling Peter: €œYou follow Me.€ In between those to €œfollow me€™s€ there was much life that was lived and experienced by Peter in that period of approximately 3.5 years.

There would be much to write about Peter€™s journey, but in short he was called by Jesus to the restoration with the words, €œfollow me€, but had need to be untaught the ways of human effort and power and brought to the point where it was only the power of the Holy Spirit encouraging him, empowering him and inspiring him.

In our text, we can conclude that Peter recognized that he was now restored to relationship and fellowship with His Lord and Saviour, but Jesus wanted to probe deeper into the heart and mind of Jesus. He did this by asking him three times as to whether he loved Jesus. Let us place that conversation here for ease of reference.

John 21:14 This was the third time Jesus had appeared to his disciples since he had been raised from the dead.
15 After breakfast Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," Peter replied, "you know I love you." "Then feed my lambs," Jesus told him.
16 Jesus repeated the question: "Simon son of John, do you love me?" "Yes, Lord," Peter said, "you know I love you." "Then take care of my sheep," Jesus said.
17 Once more he asked him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was grieved that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, "Lord, you know everything. You know I love you." Jesus said, "Then feed my sheep.

1 Peter 1:8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,
9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

So, let us think this through so that we might connect in our own journeys to know and experience the love of God in Christ Jesus.

1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

ESV 1 Corinthians 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant
5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends.

Love originated with God inwardly since He is love, He demonstrated it by giving His Son to save us and since He loved us, we ought to love one another. Inward experience of love desires to express itself through action.

When we were up in the Pike area last weekend, I was visiting with a man who knows of and is experiencing the love of God for him. Consequently he is eager to share this love with others and is seeking people into whom he can pour this love.

May the love of God so reign in our hearts and minds that we would find ourselves looking upon others with thankfulness for their love for us. May we also look upon those who may not even know the love of God for them, and may we be the Jesus in the flesh who demonstrates that love towards them in whatever way is possible.

May we be fed today of the Living Bread that came down from heaven, Jesus the Christ, so that His love would not only abide in us, but would flow out of us into the hearts of those who are hungering for His unconditional and saving love!

Pastor Orval Wirkkala


Posted on 07 May 2017 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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Help is on the way Isaiah 40.1.11
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala


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