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Jesus asked Do you Love Me

         

This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead. So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Feed My lambs." He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Tend My sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonah, 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, "Feed My sheep.”
   "Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish." This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, "Follow Me." Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, "Lord, who is the one who betrays You?" Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, "But Lord, what about this man?" Jesus said to him, "If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me." Then this saying went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, "If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?" This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.
(John 21:14-25)

 

     The following passages are taken from the book “Just Give Me Jesus” by Anne Graham Lotz.

 

Restored After Failure (327-331)

The sun was rising in the morning sky, the fire was burning down, and the last morsels of fish and crumbs of bread had been consumed when Peter found himself the center of the Lord’s attention. I wonder if he felt uncomfortable under that gaze. Or had he been anxiously hoping Jesus would say something that would help him get a grip on the rest of his life? If so, he may have been puzzled by the first question Jesus asked, because the question wasn’t about his mission in life. It was about his motivation.

 

Restored in His Motivation

With the other disciples quietly listening, Jesus turned, and spoke directly to Peter. In His eyes there must have been an expression of complete understanding and deep love as He gently began to question Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” (John 21:15). Perhaps even as Jesus asked the question, He glanced meaningfully around at the circle of disciples just finishing their breakfast.

Peter didn’t have to ask, “More than these what, Lord?” He knew Jesus meant his brother, Andrew, and James and John and Matthew and Thomas and Nathaniel—--those who had just gone fishing with him, as well as the others. The question really was, “Peter, do you love Me more than anyone else?”

Peter didn’t even have to think that one through. He knew he

loved Jesus more than anyone. So he replied simply, “Yes, Lord, .

you know that I love you” (John 21:15).

What about you? Do you love Jesus. . .

more than the other “disciples”?

more than your Christian friends?

more than your family?

more than your church and ministry coworkers?

more than your pastor?

more than your Bible teacher?

more than anyone?

Jesus continued His questions: “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?” (John 21:16). Perhaps this time Jesus stared significantly at the fishing boat that had just been dragged to shore, bulging with a very profitable catch of fish.

Peter must have known Jesus was asking him to examine him self to determine whether he loved Jesus more than his old way of life. Did he love Jesus more than an opportunity for a profitable secular business? More than any plans he may have made for his life? More than any activity in his life? Did he love Jesus more than anything else?

Do you? Do you love Jesus. . .

more than your “fishing boat”?

more than your business or profession?

more than your career or hopes for a career?

more than your position or desire for a position?

more than material things and status symbols?

more than your own plans and dreams for the future?

more than your current cash flow and your investments?

more than your profit margin and projected gross income?

more than your leisure activities and pastimes?

more than anything?

Jesus looked straight at Peter without glancing at anyone or any thing else, and asked persistently for the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” (John 21:17). Under the direct, searching gaze of his Lord, Peter must have known he was being asked whether he loved Jesus more than himself. This time did Peter squirm uncomfortably? Did he love Jesus more than the opinions of others, such as the servant girl in the courtyard? More than his own safety and comfort, as he would now be dangerously identified with Someone Who had been executed as an enemy of Rome? More than his own reputation? More than his memories of sin and failure?

Again, what about you? Do you love Jesus...

more than the opinions of others?

more than your own popularity and position?

more than your own safety and comfort and convenience?

more than your own reputation?

more than your memories of past sin and failure?

more than your private hurts and grievances and bitterness?

more than your own beauty and body?

more than your own diet and exercise regimen?

more than yourself ?

The first two times Jesus questioned Peter, He used the word agape for “love,” which is defined as the fullest, highest, richest, most unconditional love we will ever know. Peter’s responses are very revealing; although in the English language, Peter repeatedly affirmed his love for the Lord, the Greek word he used was not agape but phileo, which is more equivalent to “like.” The third time Jesus questioned Peter, He dropped down to the word Peter was using for love, and asked Peter if he liked Him. Jesus was pinpointing the contrast between His questions and Peter’s answers, which perhaps is why Peter was hurt. So the conversation between Jesus and Peter was actually something like this:

“Simon, son of John, do you truly love Me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord, you know that I like You.”

“Simon, son of John, do you truly love Me?”

“Yes, Lord, you know that I like You.”

“Simon, son of John, do you like Me?”

“Lord, you know all things; You know that I like You.”

In response to his Lord’s questions, why didn’t Peter confess agape love for Jesus? Maybe when he was questioned for the third time, his response meant something like this: “Lord, You know all things. You know how I’ve failed. You know how I told You that while others may abandon You, I never would. You know how I told You that the Cross was not for You because I had better plans for Your life. You know how I went to sleep when You begged me to watch and pray with You. You know that I denied even knowing You three times while You were being brutally treated. With all the sin and guilt and failure in my life, I just don’t dare say I love You. But You know my heart. I love You as much as I’m capable of at this moment, but not nearly as much as I should or as much as I want to. So Lord, to be honest, compared to Your love for me, I can only say I like You as a Friend.” It’s interesting that Jesus didn’t seem to need any more than that honest confession from Peter in order to restore him and reinstate him in service.

What did you think Jesus required from you before He could use you? Again and again, from the Samaritan woman, to the paralyzed man beside the pool of Bethesda, to the blind man, to Lazarus, we’ve seen that Jesus meets us where we are. But He doesn’t leave us there. He draws us to Himself and lifts us above our circumstances and even beyond our own potential.

Jesus reached into Peter’s heart and put His finger on Peter’s motivation for service. Peter’s motivation to live for Jesus and to serve Jesus was not to be. . .

an attempt to stave off guilt,

an attempt to earn forgiveness,

an attempt to avoid criticism,

an attempt to measure up to the opinions of others,

an attempt to prove something to someone,

an attempt to gain approval or recognition,

an attempt to accumulate more good works than bad works.        

Peter’s sole motivation in service was to be his love for Jesus, pure and simple. If he did love Jesus, even a little, his mission was to do something about it. He was to get involved in the lives of others.

 

Restored in His Mission (331-336)

Do you love Jesus? Do you even like Him at all? If so, Jesus gives to you the same threefold mission He gave to Peter. The first is to “feed my lambs” (John 21:15).

Who or what are “lambs”? Obviously, Jesus wasn’t speaking of

baby sheep. And yet, in a spiritual sense, He was. Previously, He had picked up on an Old Testament theme and taught the disciples that He was the Good Shepherd while they and other believers were the sheep. Therefore, “lambs” are either the children of “sheep” or they are new believers. His directive was to feed the “lambs.”

Several years ago I had the opportunity to go to Australia with my daughter Rachel-Ruth. We were the invited guests of the Anglican

Archbishop and Mrs. Donald Robinson. The schedule they had set for

my speaking was intense, yet considerate. Every three days, I was able to take a day off. And after the second week, I had a weekend off.

I took advantage of the extra free time and traveled to the Snowy Mountains where Rachel-Ruth and I stayed at a working homestead. The first day there, after riding horses all over the mountains, spotting kangaroos and wallabies and platypuses, we came into the sprawling house where dinner was being prepared. Going into the kitchen, I asked the hostess if I could help. She laughed and said, “Yes, help me get Bobby out of here.” To my delighted consternation, Bobby was a wee lamb who kept entwining himself in her legs. The hostess took a bottle of warm milk, placed it in front of Bobby’s nose, and used it as bait to get him out of the kitchen and onto the patio in front of the house. Then she handed me the bottle and told me to feed him. I looked rather skeptically at Bobby, and he looked rather eagerly at me. So I squatted down, picked him up in my arms, and stuck the bottle in his mouth! He got his supper, and I learned something about feeding lambs!

Lambs can’t eat on their own. They don’t graze or nibble. They have to be bottle-fed. New believers or young children are like that too. They can’t enter into theological debates or get involved in word studies or argue the value of lexicons or even interpret the parables. They have a difficult time digging out truth from Scripture for themselves because it is totally unfamiliar to them. So they need to be “bottle-fed” or “spoon-fed.” Someone needs to sit down with them and teach them the stories and simple truths of the Bible. They need someone like you, who gets involved in their lives for no reason other than that you love Jesus, and He has given you “lambs” as your mission.

What “lambs” do you know? Have you seen lambs who are interfering with someone attempting to “feed sheep,” just as Bobby was interfering with the hostess as she attempted to prepare our dinner? Do the lambs keep interrupting the Bible study with questions that every one else knows the answers to? Are others even getting irritated and frustrated with what appears to be resistance to the truth, when actually it’s ignorance? Wouldn’t it make a difference if you just met with those people individually one on one and answered each one’s questions, and led each through a study of basic Bible truths and doctrines?

Or maybe the “lambs” are the children who keep flocking into your backyard to play with your children, or they may be the children who come with their parents to your church then get dumped in Sunday school as more of a baby-sitting facility than a teaching time. Couldn’t you take the opportunity to volunteer to read Bible stories to them or start a backyard Bible Club?

Years ago in my Bible class, a lovely Asian woman shared how she got involved in feeding lambs. She had two young daughters who went to the public school. The bus they rode stopped right in front of her house, so every morning about a dozen children gathered there to wait for it. One morning it was pouring rain, so she invited all the children to come out of the rain and wait just inside the front door of her house. That morning the bus happened to be late, so while they waited, my friend read the children a Bible verse and prayed for them. The bus came, and the children bounded out the door and clambered aboard.

The next morning, it wasn’t raining, but the children were at my friend’s door, asking if they could wait inside and have another prayer. My friend was thrilled as she welcomed her little “flock” inside her home. Each morning thereafter, she shared a verse with her “lambs” and prayed God’s blessing on their day—--just because she loved Jesus.

You can feed lambs by establishing family devotions in your home. Or by helping out with the children’s Sunday school at church. Or by sharing a verse with your children’s friends when they sleep over. Ask God to give you creativity in getting the “bottle” into their little mouths—--and minds!

The second time Jesus inquired of Peter, “Do you truly love me?” and Peter affirmed, “Yes, Lord, you know that I (like) you,” Jesus instructed him, “Take care of my sheep” (John 21:16). Sheep can get into all sorts of difficulty from wandering away from the flock and becoming lost, to getting brambles embedded in their wool, to suffering nose flies or attacks from wolves. They need constant attention and care from the shepherd.

What “sheep” do you know? Believers in your church, your home, your community, your Bible study, your school, your workplace, your club, have so many needs! Are they wandering away from church, drifting from the fellowship of other Christians as they are lured by the sirens of popularity, prestige, position, power, and just things?

Are they entangled with the thorns of. . .

personal responsibilities,

financial worries,

marital infidelity,

professional pressures,

physical illness,

emotional stress,

parental care,

and a thousand other things?

Are they constantly battling the “nose flies” of . .

sickness and ill health,

doctors offices and hospitals,

medical bills and health insurance?

Is Satan himself attacking them in the area of their relationships, robbing them of their joy, tempting them to doubt God’s love, luring them to seek a quick fix to a long-term problem or be dissatisfied in their current situations?

Sheep need a shepherd! Surely you can tend just one sheep. Call him, write him, encourage him, pray for him, invite him to a ball game. Meet her for lunch, baby-sit her kids, make her dinner, or just help in practical ways. Caring for the sheep is the second mission Jesus gave Peter. And you. And me. Just because we love Him.

For the third time, Jesus asked Peter, “Do you even like Me at all?”

When Peter answered, his face must have flushed with shame. How he wanted to love Jesus with all of his heart as he knew he should. But all he could honestly muster was, “Lord, You know I like You.” This time, Jesus commanded Peter, “Feed My sheep” (John 2 1:17, paraphrase).

When I was growing up in the mountains, we had a section of land cleared and planted with grass. The entire area was encircled by a barbed-wire fence, so that the mountain pasture was secured. My mother had three ewes and a little ram that she fed by simply turning them loose in the pasture she had prepared. Because they were mature sheep, they fed themselves.

Unlike lambs that need to be bottle-fed, mature sheep just need to be provided with a green pasture. Open your home for a Bible study, help facilitate a Sunday school class, teach your children to have their own quiet times of prayer and Bible reading. Just look around and see what you can do to make sure each sheep is in a green pasture, grazing on the Word of God for himself or herself.

Last spring, my daughter Rachel-Ruth and my nephew’s bride, Kendra, prayed together each week, asking God to bring women to them who wanted to be in a Bible study. Within five months, God had brought seventeen women to them. Never having led an adult Bible study before, they used a video series.’ The one they selected required each participant to use her Bible at home in order to complete a weekly lesson, then every Monday night all the women came together to share what they had learned. Following their discussion, they watched the lecture for that week’s lesson on video. Week after week, it was thrilling to hear of the impact God’s Word was making in the lives of these women who were not only feeding themselves but also being fed. Rachel-Ruth and Kendra had provided the green pasture.

Hungry sheep are everywhere. In fact, the “sheep” are starving! They are sick of junk food—--games and musicals and entertainment and self-help seminars and books about the Bible. Instead, they are ravenous for real food! Jesus has offered Himself as the Bread of Life that comes down from heaven to satisfy the hungry soul. When His disciples said that was hard to understand—--did He mean they were to eat Him?—--Jesus replied that He was speaking of His Word.

Why would Rachel-Ruth, who works as an office manager’s assistant and at the same time is learning to cook and be a homemaker for her new husband, and why would Kendra, who is a bride working full time as a nurse and is also learning to cook and make a home for my nephew—--why would they go to the trouble and time and expense of conducting a Bible study for women, many of whom they don’t even know well? For one reason only: They love Jesus. Loving Jesus and serving Jesus go hand in hand. One is your motivation; the other is your mission.

Do you love Jesus? Do you even like Jesus at all? Then Jesus said your mission is clear. You are to feed the lambs and tend the sheep and feed the sheep. You do love Jesus, don’t you?

Early that morning beside the fire on the shore of Galilee, Jesus asked Peter to publicly confess his love for Him three different times. It was an obvious parallel to the earlier morning beside the fire in the courtyard of the temple when Peter had denied Him publicly three times. Jesus was reinstating Peter in the eyes of the other disciples as well as in Peter’s own eyes. He was restoring Peter’s soul! And Peter was restored! At the end of his life, he whispered passionately, “To those of us who believe, He is so precious!”

After finishing breakfast and leading Peter in his public confession of love, Jesus must have stood up and motioned for Peter to join Him in a stroll down the beach. He had something to reveal to Peter that would help the disciple refocus after his failure and remain focused for the rest of his life. John concludes his wonderful eyewitness account of the life of Jesus with one of the last challenges Jesus gave to Peter before returning to His Father.

 

Refocused After Failure (336-340)

As they walked slowly down the beach, could they hear the waves lapping gently on the shore and feel the soft sand giving way beneath their sandals? Did a gull call to its mate before joining a flock of seabirds as they circled the fishing boats heading out to the deeper water? Did Jesus dread to tell Peter what He knew He must? It must have been an ominous moment, for when Peter turned to look into the eyes of Jesus, he saw a cross!

 

Refocused on the Cross

Peter had been so repulsed by the Cross that he had contradicted Jesus when he learned God’s will for Jesus included it. Now, Jesus told Peter the truth—that God’s will for Peter’s life also included a cross: “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” (John 2 1:18). While His words may seem vague to us, the one who penned them specifically indicated Peter under stood that “Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God” (John 21:19). This time, instead of being overwhelmed or frightened, I wonder if Peter felt truly honored to be singled out to endure the cross for Jesus because Jesus had endured the Cross for him.

Tradition records that at the end of Peter’s life he was arrested for his bold proclamation of the Gospel, imprisoned by the authorities, and condemned to die on a Roman cross. As he was stripped of his clothes in preparation for execution and led to the cross, Peter, who had been so afraid of being identified with Christ that he had denied knowing Him, begged to be crucified upside down because he did not feel worthy to be crucified in the same manner as his beloved Lord. The executioner agreed. And God was glorified by Peter’s humble obedience to death, even death on a cross.

Are you repulsed by the thought of crucifixion? I am. But I also know that when I look into the eyes of Jesus, I see a cross! And He has said to me, “Anne, if you want to be My disciple, if you want to follow Me, you must deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Me. Because if you want to save your life, you’re going to lose it in the end. If you choose to lose your life for Me, you will find it. For what good will it do you if you gain the whole world, yet forfeit your soul?”

The cross that Jesus commands you and me to carry is the cross of submissive obedience to the will of God, even when His will includes suffering and hardship and things we don’t want to do. It is a willingness to totally, absolutely, irrevocably, and finally yield our lives to Him because we want what He wants more than what we want.

The cross is not just a symbol of love or a fashion statement. The cross is your daily decision to deny yourself,

                                      your rights,

                                  your wants,

                             your dreams,

                        your plans,

                   your goals,

and deliberately, wholeheartedly, unreservedly live out your commitment to His will and His way and His Word and His wisdom. The cross is your decision to live for Jesus. Period. No “ifs,” “ands,” “buts,” or “maybes.”

Crucifixion became real to me years ago when I was struggling with trying to balance my time. I spent hours in preparation for my responsibilities in the Bible class I was teaching, plus I had three small children and a husband who needed lots of loving attention, a house to clean and meals to cook and shopping to do and laundry to wash. I remember one morning, having already accomplished almost an entire day’s agenda by 9:00 A.M., sitting down to catch my breath and enjoy a quick cup of coffee while I scanned the headlines in the newspaper. No sooner had I sat down than my four-year-old daughter, Morrow, interrupted me for something she needed. The anger and frustration at never having time to myself erupted from within, and as I cut loose to scold her, it struck me that the problem wasn’t Morrow, it was me! My anger stemmed from the fact I could never seem to divide up my time so that I had enough of it for all I needed to do. And I resented Morrow for intruding on time that I had allotted, not for her, but for myself.

Instead of yelling at Morrow, I quickly got up to attend to what she wanted, then went back to the kitchen, dropped to my knees, and told God I was sorry. Furthermore, I told Him I could no longer man age my time, so I was going to give it all to Him to manage for me. And then I went a step further and told God I was tired of trying to decide on a daily basis what I would give to Him and what I would keep to myself, so I was giving Him everything.

There was no lightning bolt or voice from the sky or even a special verse to let me know He acknowledged the decision I had made. I got up from my knees and nothing seemed dramatically different. But the next time I was interrupted, I handled it without anger or resentment. The next time I had more to do than I had time for, I just told God I would do what I could, and He would have to take care of the rest. I relaxed under His management! To this day, with all the pressures and problems in my life, I sleep soundly at night, I am not easily frustrated, and I live in the confidence that God will make time for all He has for me to do, even if I am unable to do all that I had planned. It is a peace that comes from a moment-by-moment yielding to Him that began, for me, on my knees on the kitchen floor.

But I will tell you honestly from experience that crucifixion is a slow, painful death to your self And it is impossible for victims to crucify themselves. Crucifixion is the result of our decision to yield ourselves to God as He allows various pressures and problems and pain into our lives. These things are often a part of life anyway, but in the life of a disciple of Jesus Christ, they are not wasted. They are used to put us to death that we might be raised to an abundant . . . victorious

blessed . . . fruitful . . . powerful . . . Christlike . . . Spirit-filled life.

Don’t forget that the resurrection followed His death You and I need to remember that when Jesus commands us to deny our selves, take up our crosses daily, and follow Him, He leads us not only to the cross, but also to the crown! Don’t become so morbidly preoccupied with the cross that you overlook the resurrection and the glory and the power and the crown to come! But in order to get to the glory and the crown, we must first go through the cross.

God has used pressures and pain and problems in my life as the nails that have pinned me to the cross. By submitting to Him in those things, I have entered into an experience of death to myself. Some of the “nails” He has used include losing a baby, being removed from a church, experiencing a robbery, witnessing the execution of my friend, stepping out in faith to establish AnGeL Ministries, traveling the world, speaking in a broad variety of settings to an even broader variety of people, enduring—--and learning to enjoy—--an empty nest, caring for my son through his struggle with cancer, and marrying off all three children within eight months of each other. A “nail” can also be another person in your life who irritates, aggravates, and frustrates you—--someone whose very presence forces you to choose between living in the spirit or in the flesh. The list of nails could go on, but the apostle Paul articulated it best when he personally testified, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

The apostle John had a similar experience when he glimpsed the vision of the glory of Jesus and fell at His feet as though dead. As a “dead” man, he was silent—no longer was he arguing with God’s plan for his life, or making excuses for his sin, or telling God what he wanted Him to do, or rationalizing his behavior or insisting on his way. And as a “dead” man he was still—--no longer wrestling against God’s will for his life, or going off in his own direction, or impatiently running ahead of God, dragging his feet when God called. John was describing his “crucifixion.”

Jesus challenges you and me, even as He did Peter and Paul and John, to keep our focus daily on the cross of His will if we want to be His disciples. And as you focus on the cross, don’t take your eyes off of Christ!

 

Refocus on Christ (340-343)

As soon as Jesus had told Peter that his life would include the cross, Jesus turned to him and said, “Follow me!” (John 2 1:19) Peter knew Jesus wasn’t referring to their walk down the beach but to his journey through life. He was being challenged to live for Jesus regardless of the sacrifice or cost or final outcome.

As Peter continued walking with Jesus along the shoreline, he happened to glance back and see John following them. He must have wondered if living for Jesus was going to be as costly for John as it was for him. And so Peter, with his characteristic, impetuous honesty, asked, “Lord, what about him?” (John 21:21).

Is Peter’s question on the tip of your tongue? What about your sister or brother or parent or spouse or pastor or friend or fellow church member or Bible study leader? Do you see. . .

selfishness in the way that person spends his or her time?

manipulation in that person’s dealings with others?

temper tantrums when that person doesn’t get his or her way?

political maneuvering when that person wants to achieve his

or her goal?

strong-arming in a committee to get the decision that person

wants?

public posturing as that person tries to impress others with

an affected spirituality?

greed as that person cashes in on ministry?

dishonesty as that person steals the credit for something

someone else has done?!

And all of this within the church! Do you see no real evidence of the crucified life in any believer you know?

In response to Peter’s question, “What about him?” Jesus said

bluntly, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me” (John 2 1:22).

And Jesus says just as bluntly to you and me, “How I work in other people’s lives and how they respond to Me is basically none of your business. You are not to live your life in comparison with others. They are accountable to Me and to Me alone, just as you are. Keep your focus on Me!”

What is your focus? Have you been deeply disturbed and discouraged and even depressed as you have looked at the lives of those who say they are disciples and the community that calls itself the church, yet not seen Jesus? Do you look at these people or churches and wonder. . .

Where is the beauty of His character?

Where is the purity of His holiness?

Where is the authority of His Word?

Where is the sovereignty of His purpose?

Where is the majesty of His name?

Where is the security of His promise?

Where is the victory of His power?

Where is the glory of His presence?

Where is Jesus?

My prayer is that if Jesus can be seen nowhere else, He might be seen in your life and mine. Because He is the One—--the only One—-- Who makes:

God visible

and change possible

and happiness attainable

and resources ample

and suffering understandable

and sin forgivable

and heaven available!

Which is why our hearts’ cry is, “Just give me Jesus!” AND GOD HAS!

 

Miss Amy Carmichael established a home for girls in one of the southern provinces of India. At that time, and even to this day, young girls were sold or bartered to the local temple to serve as prostitutes. The life expectancy of one of these little girls was twelve years of age. Miss Carmichael rescued as many of these tragic victims as she could. She then raised them in the Christian atmosphere of Dohnavur that was like a secret garden of God’s blessing in the midst of a terrifying jungle of evil.

One day Miss Carmichael was at her desk when one of these little girls came and stood shyly at the door. When Miss Carmichael looked up, the little girl announced very simply, yet in a quivering voice, “I have come.” Miss Carmichael stretched out her arm to welcome the young child to her side and gently inquired, “Why have you come?” With large, dark eyes that clung to Miss Carmichael’s face, the one who had been rescued softly whispered, “Just to love you.”

God’s glorious love and saving grace in the Person of Jesus Christ draw us to Himself like the little rescued Indian girl was drawn to Miss Carmichael. Love wants to draw near and linger in the presence of the One who is loved.

So just give me Jesus! He is not only our Savior, He is God Who so loved you and me that He drew near and lingered just to say, “I love you!”

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son,that whoever believes in Him shall not perish

but have eternal life“ (John 3:16)

 

“Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.” (John 20:30-31)

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