Advent Devotionals

Advent Daily Devotional - The Test of Your Love

Day 22

Dr. Dickson Obwoya

 

Day 22 – Sunday, December 24

 

Key Verse: 

“When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, 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 …Tend my sheep …Feed my sheep.’” — John 21:15-17, English Standard Version
 

Today’s Reading: John 21

 

Listen to today's reading on her.BIBLE®


 

Before Jesus’ crucifixion, Peter had declared that even if others would abandon Jesus, he would not (Matthew 26:33-35). But Peter failed to prove his love and loyalty to Jesus. 

After Jesus’ victorious resurrection, we see another interaction between Jesus and Peter in John 21. After breakfast, Jesus singled Peter out and asked him three times, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Maybe this was to remind Peter of the three times he had denied Him (John 18:17, 25-27; Luke 22:54-62). At the same time, in this dialogue, Jesus is restoring Peter even though he failed. Jesus desires Peter’s love and then He gives Peter the responsibility to lead and care for people.

The questions Jesus asked Peter are for you today too. Do you truly love Christ more than all other people or things? 

Through His own life example, Jesus has demonstrated that true love is a personal choice and a gift freely given. It is the giving of oneself to another person for their sake without expectation of return favor. True love is selfless and is directed wholly to the other person for their own good and benefit. Jesus said He came not to be served but to serve as an expression of His love for the people. He, in fact, laid down His life for His enemies (Romans 5:8).

In asking Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these others?” Jesus was challenging Peter’s love for Him. The real test of your love for Jesus is your love for others and obedience to His commands (John 14:21). Serving the Lord by serving the people that He brings into your way is true proof of your loving Him. This is authentic evidence that you are indeed His disciple (John 13:35). 

As followers of Jesus Christ, you are called to love God wholeheartedly and love your neighbor as yourself by caring for them, ministering to them and doing good to and for them, even when they have not asked or deserve it. On our own we cannot do these things, so Jesus has given us his Spirit — the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17, 26). When we voluntarily submit ourselves to the Holy Spirit, we will be able to live and love and serve others just as Jesus did.  

Reflect:

If Jesus were to ask you if you love Him, how would you respond? Are there people in your life who feel hard to love? In what ways would you like the Holy Spirit to help you love the people that God brings into your life?

Pray:

Lord Jesus, You have shown me love that no one else could. Thank You for forgiving me of all my sin and making me a child of God. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit to show Your love to others by serving them willingly and sacrificially without expecting a return favor from them, just as You did for me.

A Deeper Dive

What does it look like to love like Jesus? Author Paul Miller speaks with hosts of FamilyLife Today® and unpacks his methods of truly seeing others and acting in ways that matter.



Dr. Dickson Obwoya serves as the Africa Region Representative on the Global Prayer Council of Cru. Dickson is married to Joy, and they have seven children and 10 grandchildren. They have been on Cru staff since 1991. They served for 14 years in various capacities at the regional office of Cru that covered Southern and Eastern Africa. Dickson gives leadership to the field ministry of Cru in Northern Uganda and also helps to coordinate felt-needs strategies in the country.

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