The Deeper "Yes"

"After breakfast Jesus said to Simon Peter, 'Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?' 'Yes Lord,' Peter replied, 'You know I love You.' 'Then feed My lambs,' Jesus told him. Jesus repeated the question, 'Simon, son of John, do you love Me?' 'Yes Lord,' Peter said, 'You know I love You.' 'Then take care of My sheep,' Jesus said. Once more He asked him, 'Simon son of John, do you love Me?' Peter was grieved that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, 'Lord, You know everything. You know I love You.' " John 21:15-18

 

The great constant in our walk with Christ is the willingness to live in the place of "Yes." It is and will always be an ever deepening state. Teachers of the Bible use the above passage to point out how Christ takes Peter through the stages of love, from a brotherly feeling of affection for Christ to a fully surrendered and unconditional love for Him.
Theologians call it a "crisis moment" in the life of Peter and in the lives of all who say they belong to Him. It is that. It is also a lifestyle of saying "Yes" to Christ. An ever deepening "Yes" as He leads us more fully into the depths of who He is and the lives he has called us to. We like to speak much of our "destiny" but somehow, that destiny is more often flesh centered with ourselves at the forefront. Our destiny in Christ is that spoken by John the Baptist in response to the coming of Christ, "I must decrease so that He may increase." This is a walk that E. Stanley Jones called "living in the place of 'yesness' " No matter where He calls, and no matter where He leads us to, our answer, is and must be, "Yes." To live in that place of yesness is to live on the pathway of the cross. Only at the cross, in the place of surrender, can we ever, will we ever say "Yes" to Jesus. No matter the cost. Peter's yes to Christ did not end on that beach. It began there, and it took him to a literal death on a cross. A death he could face because of the choice he made on that beach, and a lifetime of choices that followed. A lifetime of living in the "deeper yes." Frederick Wood said that "the only life that counts is the life that costs" Do we really want such a life? Are we really living such a life?

To live in the deeper yes is to live in the ever greater surrender. Our ambitions, dreams, relationships, comforts, marriages, spouses, children, jobs, and yes, even most, our ministries. When we think of these, we tend to call them "ours." Our mates, children, jobs, and ministries. The deeper surrender demands that all that we think of as ours, is surrendered, at the cross, to Him. In all of them, he increases. And in all of them, we decrease. 

Peter knew that Christ knew just how deep his "yes" really went. He knows it of us as well. How deep does it go? How deep will it go? He calls us to the deeper yes, and we can come only by way of the cross. The pathway is right before us. Do we go?

Blessings,
Pastor O

 

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