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John 21

Father, every bit of the person You’d have me to be, I long to be.

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What if the word meanings were more spelled out in that conversation in this passage…?

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you truly love Me more than the rest of these people here?  Do you love Me with a willful, purposeful affection like the Father’s?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said.  “You know the facts; You know that I care a lot for You.”

Jesus said, “Feed My lambs.”

Again Jesus said, “Simon, son of John, can you say with certainty that you love Me?  Do you put your whole self into that love?”

Peter answered, “Yes, Lord, I’ve told You the facts, so I know You know, that I care for You.”

Jesus said, “Take care of My sheep.”

The third time Jesus said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you at least love Me like you love your friends and neighbors?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love Me?”  He said, “Lord, You know because of the time we’ve spent together, that I really appreciate and care about You.”

Jesus said, “Feed My sheep … Follow Me!”

(John 21:15-19 “literally” paraphrased as influenced by the original Greek words used in their conversation.)

Forgive me, Father, for the times when my love for You appears only as a fondness for You.  Cause my heart’s embers to be continually stoked and stirred, on fire for You with a holy passion to love at all costs.  (Yeah, that’s a HUGE thing — and yet I know that You’re already at work on me in that anyway.)

“You, Lord, are a brilliant, radiant, burning flame, glowing with colors that warm my soul.  You, Lord, are the fireside I will sit by for all eternity … Lord, teach me to give my very all to this life that You’ve given me, but to always remember to save my heart for You.  Eyes speak so easily: the giving, reaching-to-touch, love-filled words our mouths so desperately try to say. Let the eyes You’ve created for me master the words, ‘Jesus loves you.'”  — Kathy Troccoli, My Life Is in Your Hands, p. 71, 28, 24

In YOU alone, Jesus, I find everything I will ever need.  My heart has found a Home only in You.  May others encounter me and KNOW assuredly that they’ve been touched by You.  Live Your life over again through me, as You transform me to be just like You.  Amen.

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