Ministry Resources

NT Fire Starters – Day 159: John 21:1-25

READ: John 21:1-25

THINK: All of Jesus’ followers face the question put to Peter in this passage. Jesus doesn’t simply ask, “Are you willing to do anything for me?” or “Do you love people?” As important as these issues are, Jesus’ most vital concern is that we love Him. All the determination and good intentions in the world cannot replace love as the primary motivation for serving Christ. If your love for the Lord is lacking, you’ll labor in frustration to fulfill what you feel is your spiritual duty, and eventually your relationship with God will collapse when the pressure is on. But as you spend time with Jesus and your love for Him grows, you’ll gain the power and inspiration to fulfill your God-given purpose–no matter what you encounter or endure along the way.

RESPOND: In what sense are your efforts unproductive–or not all they could be–until they’re done God’s way (cf. v. 6)? How do Jesus’ appearances following His resurrection (v. 14) help to confirm the Biblical account of Jesus and His ministry? Why did Jesus persistently ask Peter, “Do you truly love me?”? (See 21:15 note.) How do you think this made Peter feel? In what way was Jesus demonstrating compassion for Peter and preparing him for future challenges? What kind of devotion was Jesus expecting by the words He used for “love”? (See 21:15 note, point 1.) How are Jesus’ questions to Peter significant for you? (See 21:15 note, point 2.) Why is it important for your love for Jesus to be challenged, tested and proven? What was Jesus really asking of Peter when He said, “Take care of my sheep”? (See 21:16 note.) In what way is this request significant for all followers of Jesus? Why must love for Jesus be the motivating factor in serving Him? (See 21:17 note.) In what way would Peter ultimately prove his love for Jesus? (See 21:18 note.) What does verse 25 tell us about Jesus’ work on earth, and what does it imply about the things recorded in His Word? (See 21:25 note.) What does all of Jesus activity on earth indicate about His relationship with His Father? How does His example challenge you in your relationship with God?

PRAY: Thank Jesus for His incomparable love for you. Ask Him to strengthen and increase your love and devotion to Him–even when that requires going through painful and challenging times. Also, ask Him to help you pass His love on to others–particularly those who do not yet have a personal relationship with Him.

ACT: Commit all of your work to God. Whether it’s job tasks, school studies, or responsibilities at home, ask God to help you and to have His way in all of your work. Commit to doing your best and honoring Him in of your efforts. Also, do something specific to demonstrate your love for Jesus. This may involve a personal project such as a prayer letter or creative artwork. But consider doing something that will also inspire others in their relationship with God.

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