John 21:2-17  (NIV)

Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. 3 “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. 4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. 5 He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. 6 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. 7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. 8 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. 9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.  15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

1 John 3:18 (CEB)

Little children, let’s not love with words or speech but with action and truth.

DEVOTION – Bill Willis (New South Wales, Australia)

It is early in the morning, and I am walking along the shores of beautiful Lake Maquarie.  I can easily imagine the scene described in today’s reading and perhaps include myself in the picture.  The tired and disappointed disciples have been met and fed by their risen Lord.  Then as they sat around, Jesus addressed Peter for the first time since Peter denied him.  “Peter, do you love me?”  Jesus asked.  In reply Peter affirmed his love.  Jesus’ next words became Peter’s motivating commission from that time on: “Feed my sheep.”

In reality our Lord as saying, ‘If you really love me, prove it by doing what I need you to do:  Help others to love me and encourage them on their journey.”  Jesus’ statement reminds me of Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady expressing her frustration by singing, “Don’t talk of love lasting through time… Show me now!”  Based on how we sometimes behave, Jesus could say the same words to us: “Don’t just tell me you love me, show me.  Show me by your love in daily life and relationships.”  When we live close to Christ and allow him to nourish us, others can see the evidence of our love.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: If I truly love Christ, my actions will show it.

Link2Life: To see a photo of Lake Macquarie, go to devotional.upperroom.org/blog.

PRAYER: Gracious God, we thank you that even when our love is feeble, your love for us remains strong and unchanging.  Help us to grow in our love for you and to express that love each day by serving you as we serve those around us.

PRAYER FOCUS: Those Struggling with their Faith

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