“Ambition could not supply the motivation to follow Jesus where Peter would have to go. In John 21 Jesus repeated the one motivation that would suffice. Jesus said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love Me?’ (John 21:17). Oh, beloved, can you see the significance? No other motivation will last!..Love keeps burning when everything else disintegrates in an ashen heap. Pray for this one thing more than you pray for your next breath. I am convinced love is everything.”
It’s amazing, isn’t it, how love really is the greatest thing of all? Love has to be your driving force. Your faith has to be rooted in love.
I believe that’s why Jesus said that, out of faith, hope, and love, love ranked highest. He knew, I think, that faith and hope are fallible things. If we try to have faith or try to have hope, if we try to muster those things on our own, we are going to grow exhausted. We have to rely on God to help grow those things within us. And the only way to rely on God day in and day out and not try to do it on our own, even when life seems uncertain and it’s hard to believe that God is really working everything together for good? Love. Trusting in His love for us, loving Him, and loving the people that God brings into our life.
The disciples walked the road to martyrdom, not because they saw it was their religious duty not to turn their back on their God, but because of love. They walked that road because God had so fully captured their hearts and they knew that nothing, not even their lives, mattered more.
Help us, Lord, to be rooted in love.