John 21:15 says, “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs”. Scholars debate the identity of the “these” of which Jesus spoke, and I’m not going to broach that discussion in this space. But there are some important people and principles that will really test our resolve for loving the Lord. Think carefully about these four.
First, do we love the Lord more than our family? If we do, we will not let them keep us from obeying the gospel. We will be willing to leave the religion they have accepted if it’s proven wrong. We will not let them keep us from attending the services of the Lord’s church. Remember, Jesus said, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37).
Second, do we love the Lord more than money? If we do, we will not make the heaping of riches the chief object of our living. We will give liberally of our means to the Lord (2 Corinthians 8:1-5). Remember, the Lord said, “For the love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10).
Third, do we love the Lord more than pleasure? If we do, we won’t engage in what’s forbidden, that which will hurt our influence for Christ. Remember, the Lord, in speaking of perilous times, said men shall be “lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1-4).
Fourth, do we love the Lord more than the praise of men? If we do, we’ll be willing to stand for the Lord and the right, though we must stand alone (2 Timothy 4:16-17). The chief rulers “did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:42-43).
The Lord should be the supreme object of our affection (Matthew 22:37). And that means we’ll have to make some serious adjustments in our lives. May we learn to sing, and mean it: “More love to thee, O Christ, more love to Thee!”