Now What: More Than These

May 5, 2024    Nick Nixon

This sermon examines John 21:15-17, when Jesus asks Peter three times, "Do you love me?" Peter's journey is marked by moments of boldness and impulsivity, as well as moments of failure. He famously denies Jesus three times, as predicted by Jesus Himself. However, despite his flaws, Peter's love for Jesus is evident. Connection Coordinator, Nick Nixon, explains what Jesus meant by "more than these" and suggests that Jesus was referring to anything that competes with our love for Him. 

Competing loves distract us from Jesus. These can include:

1. My Reputation: We seek to be liked and respected, often prioritizing our image over our relationship with Jesus.

2. My Preferences: We tend to control what we like and how we want things done, often putting our preferences above God's will.

3. My Relationships: While relationships are important, they can become a competing love if they stand between us and Jesus.

4. My Comfort: We prioritize comfort, avoiding anything that makes us uncomfortable, even if it means neglecting our spiritual growth.

5. My Plans: Our plans for our lives can become a competing love if they don't align with God's plans for us.

Jesus challenges Peter to love Him more than these competing loves. He urges Peter to show his love through action, specifically by caring for His sheep. Tending to others reflects our love for Jesus.

Competing loves are exposed by how we treat others. Jesus emphasizes the importance of loving others as a demonstration of our love for Him. We can't truly love God if we don't love our neighbors.

Jesus calls us to love Him above all else and to demonstrate this love through our actions. When Jesus asks, "Do you love me?" He's challenging us to examine our hearts and prioritize our love for Him over anything else. Loving Jesus means loving others and fulfilling His commandments.

The sermon wraps up with a powerful message emphasizing the importance of love for others as a reflection of our love for God. It's not enough to simply attend church or engage in worship; true love for God is demonstrated through love for others.

Jesus's repeated question to Peter, "Do you love me more than these?" challenges us to examine our hearts and prioritize our love for Him over anything else. We're urged to be grieved by our competing loves and commit to putting Jesus first every day, making Him our First Love.

Acknowledging and addressing these competing loves is the first step. Seeking God's help to keep Jesus as our top priority is essential. And finally, responding to Jesus's command to love our neighbors, in every aspect of our lives, is crucial.

The closing verse, 2 Peter 1:10, encourages us to confirm our call and election by living out our faith. The sermon concludes with an invitation for those who are still exploring their relationship with Jesus. We assure you that Jesus is always there, ready to walk alongside you. We would love to support and pray for anyone seeking guidance in their spiritual journey.