John 21:15-22, So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, 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. 16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. 19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. 20 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? 21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? 22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.
In John 21:15-22, our Lord Jesus asks Peter three times, “Do you love me?” He also commands Peter two times in the above passage to “follow him.”
These two always go hand-n-hand!
Our Lord’s first and his last command to Peter personally was, “Follow Me.” And of course, the call to follow Jesus was a call to become a fisher of men [Matthew 4:18-19].
It was a call to go into all of the world to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world [Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8].
The command to follow Jesus and fish for men still echoes through the ages!
If we truly love Jesus we will be willing to follow him wherever he might lead, regardless of past challenges, present circumstances, and/or future consequences.
Spent some time working on a book that I am writing today. Actually, I am working on three books, but the book that has first priority is a book that will be called “Don’t Let the Dream Die” or “Keep the Dream Alive.”
Lord willing, my sister-n-law Mary will be assisting me with this book. It is a book that will share some of the story of how God placed a dream, a desire in the heart of my brother, Pastor Joe, which eventually led to Pacific Baptist Church of Long Beach, Pacific Baptist Church of Monterey Park, Pacific Baptist Bible College, missions teams in Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand, and Lord willing, a missions team or two in China some day.
While working on the book I inserted a few quotes from the book The Challenge of Missions by Oswald J. Smith. I thought I would share one of them with you:
When Jesus left His disciples, nearly two thousand years ago now, He gave them but one task; namely, world evangelization. I can imagine Him talking to them something like this: “I am going to leave you and I will be gone for a long time. While I am absent, I want you to do just one thing. Give this Gospel of Mine to the entire world. See that every nation, tongue, and tribe hears it.”
Those were His instructions. That was the one thing He told them to do, and they understood Him perfectly. But what has the Church done during the years He has been absent? Have we carried out His orders? Have we obeyed Him? As a matter of fact, we have done everything else except the one and only thing He told us to do. Jesus never told us to build colleges, universities, and seminaries, but we have done it. He never told us to erect hospitals and asylums and homes for the aged. He never told us to build churches or to organize Sunday Schools and Youth for Christ Rallies, but we have done it. And we ought to have done it, for it is all important and worthwhile. But the one and only thing that He did tell us to do, is the one and only thing that we have left undone. We have not given His Gospel to the entire world. We have not carried out His orders. …
What, then, is the most important work of the hour? It is to carry out our Lord’s last orders. It is to give His Gospel to the unreached tribes and peoples of the world. That, my friends, is more important than anything else. “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). By this, and this alone, we must judge all spirituality, all Bible knowledge, all doctrinal and theological discussions. If we are truly spiritual, if we are real Bible students, if our doctrines are scriptural, we will put world evangelism first; we will give, and give liberally, to missions. All our Bible knowledge, all our spirituality, all our doctrinal standards are nothing but make-believe, unless we are putting first things first.
Just reflecting on keeping the main thing, the main thing!