Following in Love (4-22)

Journey, New Year, Isaiah, Corner, New Chapter, Beginning, Dayton, Church of God, Pennsylvania, Sermon Series

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Please remember that sermon notes are meant to act as a guide and may not be exactly what was preached.

John 21:15-25

Chap 1 – Peter had been called Simon, Jesus had changed his name Petros

Peter began his following when he and his brother Andrew heard Jesus’s call Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” So Jesus’ first and – as we will soon discover – last commands to Peter are “Follow Me.”

Not only was his name changed… but his whole life as he journeyed with his Lord, he was still the same man but things within were changing. He was changing because he followed Christ, he was becoming more while on his journey with Jesus because of his love for Him.

Peter, ever impulsive, walks away from his boat and his family business at that 1st invite to follow Jesus. It is Peter who, seeing Jesus walking on the water, in a storm, says “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to you on the water.” He said , “Come”. So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt? (Matthew 14:29-31).

So Peter, impulsive Peter, also has fears and doubts. He is a human as the rest of us but he at least had the faith to get out of the boat!

Peter’s confess their belief that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the living God.” But, Peter’s belief in that moment, did not in and of itself transform him in to the man we see in the book of Acts.

But before that he had to overcome the habits of the flesh. Within minutes of his confession that Jesus was the Christ he boldly states in Matthew 16 that Jesus would not die the death He describes. Get thee… Read Matthew 16:21-27

Peter also interrupts a conversation Jesus is Having with Moses and Elijah (John 17:4-8).

He then, in his impulsiveness, rashly states in John 13:37 that he would lay down his life for Jesus and then hears that he will deny Jesus 3 times before the crow of the Rooster…

Peter, in the garden, again rashly acts and pulls a sword cutting off the high priest’s servants right ear. And as they lead Jesus away he follows at a distance as Jesus is tried, beaten, and crucified it is during that time he denies Christ 3 times.

Peter is the 1st into the empty tomb… There is no mention of Peter in John’s gospel from then until he turned back to what he knew; fishing.  

Jesus shows up where they were, He came to them, when they went back… they were apart from Jesus, having gone back, but when they dropped their nets in obedience… even when it didn’t make sense…even after their best…

Who was Peter trying to feed? Himself. Where had he put his Trust? In what he could do! And now he is confronted by Jesus

Read John 21.  Love is an action not a feeling! What are we to love with? Great Commandment – whole being, with the will involved, it has to be on purpose!  Sheep have to be led.

Transforming  grace, which meets sin head on, making  saints out of sinners, proclaimers of truth out of deniers of the faith! Because of love! “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts , always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). To Love is to prefer their interests and need over your own.

Trust is reliance on a person or thing – Is Jesus enough –entirely His?

Vs. 22 too often we get tied up, concerned with the lives of others, and while we should be helping and encouraging one another, their walk with God is not ours, their growth, their spirituality, is not the one we should be looking at. The question we need to ask is: am I following God? Do I believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the living God?

The decisions, blessings, disobedience, or obedience of others will not cancel God’s will for you. Other people’s actions will affect you, but no one can prevent what God wants to do in and through you, IF you follow Him in love.

In today’s congregations there are seekers, baby Christians, growing Christians, and mature Christians… we need to be more concerned with our following Jesus than if they are or how they are…

We, each of us, are tasked the same as Peter—feed and tend MY sheep – one anothers… do you love the lord? Then tend to His Sheep.

Further Reading:

John 1:41-42, Mark 1:17, Matthew 14:28-32, 16:13-27, 17:1-8, John 13:36-38, Hebrews 5:8-9, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Digging Deeper:

  • Are you following Jesus?
  • What has He led you to?
  • Do you love the Lord?
  • Are you confessing your love for/to God in everything you do?
  • How are you living that out with His Sheep? (Church)

See John 13:34, 15:17, Romans 12:3-21, 14:13, 15:7, Galatians 5:13, Ephesians 4:2, 4:32, Philippians 2:1-5, Colossians 3:9-16, and one of the most important, James 5:16

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