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Do You Love Me?

John 21:17


o you love me?  The fact that Christ should even have to ask the question, should break our hearts.  Peter, do you love me?  It broke Peter’s heart even though he tried to lessen the question’s blow with a protest and a “qualification.”  “Lord, you know that I am very fond of you,” he offered in reply.  This was the best that Peter could do when so personally and directly confronted by the Resurrected Truth. 

August Van Ryn used to tell the story of his artistic skills as a young boy, which did not rise to the level of his desire to draw.  He said he was so poor an artist that after drawing a picture of a horse, he would write under it in block letters “THIS IS A HORSE.”  Few would have guessed it to be equestrian without the announcement. 

When a person is born again, he is no longer what he was, and by life and actions soon the Holy Spirit paints a picture of what he is.  Beware of the person who must too loudly pronounce to everyone what he is.  It should be obvious.  When a person must write under his “abstract” and worldly actions and life “I am a Christian” (for no one would have ever guessed it without such a label) we have every right to be suspicious.  When someone would talk too much about how much they loved Christ (rather than how much Christ loved them) Brother Van Ryn would remember his early artist days, and think to himself (while listening to such dubious claims) “THIS IS A HORSE.”

Some Christians, churches and Assemblies are acting much like the world while loudly telling everyone how much they love Jesus.  Something is strange.  This is a horse.  They dress like the world, play like the world, sing like the world, buy and sell like the world, fight like the world, and live like the world, and then declare in large block-like letters the testimony, “We are Christians.” 

When Jacob came in to fool his father Isaac, the Patriarch sensed that something was “not right.”  Jacob felt like Easu (which he claimed to be) but he sounded like the younger of the sons.  Jacob said one thing but felt and looked like another.  I guess this could be an argument that “faith comes by hearing” rather than “feeling,” but I am not sure either.  All I know is that if we lived like the Savior and are “crucified with Christ,” there is no need anymore for Pilate to label us with superscription or caption.  If we were filled with the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of Elijah as on mount Carmel, we would not have to dance so hard, like the prophets of Baal trying to “make something happen” while trying to convince the world and everyone around us that we love Jesus.