Good morning Lord. Thank You for this beautiful morning. Thank You for the clear sunny sky and the warmth. Thank You that there is no wind or snow or rain. Thank You that the green is appearing on the trees and you know how those first green buds thrill me every single year–I never get tired of them. Thank You that my book is out and seems to be doing well. Thank You that You gave Tasha a car–proving to us that You are indeed taking care of her.
I begin my morning by taking all of my anxious thoughts about money, the book, my son, my grandchildren, having too much to learn about marketing the book, wondering about the future of our country and economy, I take all of these thoughts captive in obedience to You and I exchange them for Your perfect peace, Your perfect composure, Your perfect calm, Your perfect trust and understanding. Your perfect love casts out fear, so I cast out fear with Your perfect love.
Thank You for saving me, for forgiving me, for thinking of me. I love You.
Now Lord, as I read Your Word, I invite You to read it to me, speak Your thoughts to me through it.
[God's answer to me while reading John 21]
John 21: 15-17
“Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these”
“Feed my lambs.”
“Simon son of John, do you truly love me?”
“Take care of my sheep.”
“Simon son of John, do you love me?”
“Feed my sheep“
- Love: Agapao: wider, embracing especially the judgment and the deliberate assent of the will as a matter of principle, duty and propriety
- Feed: Greek=Bosko: pasture, keep
- Lambs: “lambkins”
- Love: Agapao
- Take care: poimaino: tend as a shepherd
- Sheep: probaino: to walk forward, i.e. advance (literally, or in years): be of a great age, go farther (on), be well stricken.
- Love: phileo: love as a friend; have affection for, denoting personal attachment, as a matter of sentiment or feeling
Many people love Me with their emotions, with phileo love. They worship Me with raised hands and their hearts feel genuine love for Me. Phileo love is acceptable love, it isn’t wrong love. It ascends to Me with sweet fragrance. Peter loved me with phileo love at this point.
But how many can say that they agapao Me? To love me even when I am not obviously there, when all sentiment and emotion are gone and life is terribly, terribly hard? When the child dies, when the husband gets dementia, when the Church turns against them, when the economy fails, when the food runs out and no answer from Heaven seems imminent? This kind of love requires full mental, deliberate assent of the will. To believe and love when there is no reason left to?
Agapao love will take you to the cross and you will go willingly, you will consent to go because you have learned as those sheep (walking forward, advancing in movement and in age) to trust the Shepherd. As lambkins, you are young in the faith, you do love Me. As probaino, you have walked long with Me, you have learned to trust me on the precipice of every steep cliff, every bitter storm and you still love Me. Agapao love is trust. Agapao love is abiding love.