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This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead. When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” (John 21:14-16)
Kindness and love are words of action. In the early Christian Church, the followers of Jesus were recognisable by the love that they showed to each other. It is seen in the value our Creator places on all individuals. We are told in Genesis that God created man (and woman) in his image and that mankind is a special part of his creation. All are unique and have been specially shaped by God. All are loved by God perfectly. The value he placed on us was the unimaginable worth of his only son. All are greatly loved and have love in abundance to give to others.
Love, we are told, covers a multitude of sins. Love overcomes hurt and accepts forgiveness. Love triumphs over pain. Love has the power to sustain and bring joy even in the face of illness, hardship and tragedy. Love restores hope and is the greatest power for good the world has ever seen. Love does for people what no other gift can – it brings out gifts of kindness that reach into the very depths of the heart and transforms people in a way that nothing else is able to do. Love changes hearts to experience the worth that another’s kindness has gifted freely to them. It is greater than happiness and true love from God lasts forever. No wonder the good news of Easter spread so rapidly throughout the known world of Jesus time. The message is powerful and the gift God gave in Jesus is given still to us today. As Pastor John O’Keefe loves to say, “Jesus loves you are the three most important words in the world”.
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)
Neil P. Schiller