Do you love me?

Mind blowing scripture. You know the kind of scripture where your hair stands up on end and ya get goose bumps…? Well this awesome scripture blew my socks off today. Hmmmm now where do I start … ?

In John 21 Jesus helps his disciples by providing physical food for them along with spiritual food.

This scripture particularly speaks to me as we are getting ready to leave the area where we have ministered to for 3 years. Many of our young families (flock) have scattered some are going to new churches and are being fed and protected and some are not. But all of them keep in contact with us which is beautiful. I feel such a responsibility to our little flock but also an excitement as they grow in the Lord and new shepherds come into their lives. The ultimate and perfect shepherd is Jesus. And no one can compare to Him. Us mere mortals will make mistakes (okay maybe that’s just me) even on our best days.

In John 21 you can hear Jesus’ concern and yearning to have his disciples “get it” and really grasp that he will be leaving and they need to feed the sheep. It’s putting such incredible trust and the future into the hands of us imperfect humans, with all our human failings. Whenever something is repeated in the bible it is like God is putting a big exclamation mark on it. Or if you or your toddlers are a Wiggles fans it is a “WAKE UP JEFF!!!!!” moment.

I don’t think John 21 was written only for Pastors or those in “ministry.” I feel it is for all of us who follow and love Jesus.

Feeding his sheep can be as simple as putting on a kids Christian DVD for your kids or buying a devotional or Christian book for your teenagers. Talking to your kids about Jesus. Having friends over for dinner fullstop or/and chatting about Jesus or playing Christian music. Even Christian scripture hanging on your wall feeds the soul. Helping in a soup kitchen or packing food boxes. Being involved financially or physically with organisations that help and/or feed those in need. There are a million things we can do to feed His sheep both physically and spiritually. What is God leading you to do? Or is God telling you to NOT do something and to DO something else OR to wait on HIM until He gives an answer? How are we being His hands and feet to those around us? How do we answer Jesus’ question? “Do you love me?”

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John 21

1Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias.[a] It happened this way: 2Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. 3″I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
4Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

5He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”
“No,” they answered.

6He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

7Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. 8The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.[b] 9When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

10Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.”

11Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

15When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

20Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”

22Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 23Because of this, the rumor spread among the brothers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”

24This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.

25Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

God makes everything beautiful in his time

While reading Ecclesiastes 3 I was reminded of seeing my Aunt hanging out her washing. Now my Aunt had a lot of washing as she had seven kids and a husband. Our families lived next door to each other so we spent a lot of time together. She was a wonderful role model in my life, always made time to chat with me. Which is a miracle in itself considering how time poor she would have been. She must have noticed me watching her. She called me over and told me of the joy she had seeing all her boys shirts hanging in a row. She spoke of how important it is to be happy over the seemingly small things in life. She went on to say there is always time to be thankful.

Ordinary living is beautiful, my Aunt was extraordinary enjoying her work as a Mother and Wife just simply living life.

I feel Ecclesiastes 3 embodies living the ordinary life and how precious it is. Sometimes it takes us time to see the beauty in the ordinary things of life. There is a time for everything even time to enjoy hanging out the washing.

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Ecclesiastes 3
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.

Whatever is has already been,
and what will be has been before;
and God will call the past to account.

And I saw something else under the sun:
In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
in the place of justice—wickedness was there.

I thought in my heart,
“God will bring to judgment
both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity,
a time for every deed.”

I also thought, “As for men, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. Man’s fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath [b] ; man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”

So I saw that there is nothing better for a man than to enjoy his work, because that is his lot. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?