Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Here is my axiom today: Professing love is over-rated. Showing love is under-rated. I remember the first time my father told me that he loved me. I was 18 years old. I had been in Bible College for six weeks. I traveled home for a visit after being gone that long for the first time in my life. My dad drove me to Champaign, IL on a Sunday night to meet my ride back to college. As I started to get out of the car, he embraced me and said, “Son, I love you and I am so proud of you.” I was stunned. I had not heard that from him before. It was surely a bonding moment between us. I was speechless.

For many men in my dad’s generation, love was not something you verbalized; it was something you demonstrated. My dad gave evidence of his love by working the third shift [12 midnight to 8 AM] for 30 years. He slept during the day when I was in school so he could watch my practices and go to my ball games in the evenings. He volunteered as a scoutmaster when I was in Boy Scouts and Explorers. This involved several lost weekends when, in occasional freezing temperatures, he had to sleep on the ground in a tent and cook on an open fire. When he and I were both initiated the same night at Camp Drake, into the ‘Order of the Arrow’ we had to take a vow of silence, be dropped separately in the woods in the middle of the night without anything but a sleeping bag and find our way back the next day. The initiation also involved a fast from food for 24 hours and an entire 12-hour day of backbreaking work. My dad did that for me. I know that now. I was clueless at the time. I didn’t get it then. I get it now.

In John 21, the risen Lord Jesus met Peter on the seashore. He gave Peter the opportunity to profess his love three times, in part to atone for the three times Peter had denied him during the night of his illegal trials. Three times Jesus asked, “Peter, do you love me?” Three times Peter professed his love for the Lord, “Yes Lord, you know that I love you.” After each of the three professions Jesus gave Peter an imperative, indicating that Jesus is more interested in the evidence of love than the expression in words. Lip service takes a back seat to a life surrendered. Love must be observable. Love must be measurable. Love must be seen.

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs [21:15], take care of my sheep [21:16], feed my sheep [21:17],” if you really love me. There you have it. The demonstration of love matters more than the verbalization of love. Hey, it’s nice if you have both, but if you have to choose between the two…. Don’t just say it; show it!

Pray with me…. Our Father…. a simple and yet profound lesson from your Word today…. Our words come so easily. Talk is cheap. Praise can be performed while we are on autopilot. But, we want to act, move, serve and align our practical priorities with your life-transforming mission in this world. We want to be yoked with you to show you our love is real. In the name of Jesus we pray, amen.

Pastor Ken

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