Without preface, for we shall have but little time this morning may God help us to make good use of it! we shall mention three things: first a solemn question “Lovest thou me?” secondly, a discreet answer, “Yes, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee,” and thirdly, a required demonstration of the fact, “He saith unto him, Feed my lambs;” or, again, “Feed my sheep.”
Let each one ask himself then in his Saviours name, for his own profit, “Lovest thou the Lord? Lovest thou the Savior? Lovest thou the ever-blessed Redeemer?”
What corners hast thou pushed thy Jesus into, to make room for thy bales of goods? How hast thou stowed him away into one short five minutes, to make room for thy ledger or thy day-book? How little time hast thou given to him! Thou hast been occupied with the shop, with the exchange, and the farmyard; and thou hast had little time to commune with him! Come, just think! remember any one day this week; canst thou say that thy soul always flew upward with passionate desires to him?
Now, I have asked you all these questions, because I have been asking them of myself. I feel that I must answer to nearly every one of them, “Lord, there is great cause for me to ask myself that question,” and I think that most of you, if you are honest to yourselves, will say the same. I do not approve of the man that says, “I know I love Christ, and I never have a doubt about it;” because we often have reason to doubt ourselves, a believers strong faith is not a strong faith in his own love to Christ it is a strong faith in Christs love to him. There is no faith which always believes that it loves Christ. Strong faith has its conflicts, and a true believer will often wrestle in the very teeth of his own feelings. Lord, if I never did love thee, nevertheless, if I am not a saint, I am a sinner Lord, I still believe; help thou mine unbelief.
The disciple can believe, when he feels no love; for he can believe that Christ loveth the soul; and when he hath no evidence he can come to Christ without evidence, and lay hold of him, just as he is, with naked faith, and still hold fast by him. Though he see not his signs, though he walk in darkness and there be no light, still may he trust in the Lord, and stay upon his God; but to be certain at all times that we love the Lord is quite another matter; about this we have need continually to question ourselves, and most scrupulously to examine both the nature and the extent of our evidences.
It is of no use to trouble yourselves about duties that God never meant you to do, and leave your own vineyard at home to itself. Just take care of your own children; perhaps that is as good a proof as Christ wants of you that you are feeding his lambs. You have your own office, to which Christ has appointed you: seek not to run away from it, but endeavor to do what you can to serve your Master therein.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible