A Real Witness- Affection for Jesus. 1 Peter 3:15
July 4, 2023, 11:00 AM


“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”

On this 4th of July many will wear red, white and blue, wave their flag and watch fireworks. Do you love your country? How does it show?

More importantly, how does your love for Jesus show more? When Peter addresses the subject of making a difference with our witness, the focal point of it all is the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Our commitment to the lordship of Jesus certainly is a matter of obedience and faithfulness and commitment, but above all is affection. Love God with all your heart. Love Him with all your strength. Love Him with all your mind.

When a young love is infatuated with their boyfriend or girlfriend, he/she makes it known. They will think about this person, take notice about their actions, voice and friendships. When that relationship moves from secret to open in their feelings, it is more visible from an outward appearance. Sometimes they will advertise with wristband, or lockets around their neck, or friendship rings. If they are young, you can bet they have Facebook and Tik Tok pictures full of the love of their life, and cell phone photos as their background picture than includes images of the other. Their text messages abound back and forth.

When someone talks all the time of their girl or guy, I wonder if she or he really understands the depth of love that comes from commitment through bad times, making tough decisions about finances, helping one another in sickness and in raising kids, and through the struggles of ego and pride and in-laws and priorities that are life changing.

We think of the commitment and sacrifice of so many to make our nation free. What about the sacrifice of thousands to share of message of eternal freedom?

The love and affection of mid years shows itself differently than how up front advertisement presents it. The love of an older couple also has a richness where such partnership has earned a respect that when you see one, you have seen the other since their lives are so intertwined, not in infatuation, but a deeper identity that comes with time of walking, talking, and living in closeness together.

Peter learned a lot when he was walking and talking and living together with Jesus. He learned how his passions needed to be channeled into ways filled by the Holy Spirit instead of his fleshly zeal. He needed to sit and listen a lot more and speak a lot less.

He needed to know that even when he blew it, the love of Jesus toward him sustained him, forgave him, and became the very reason for his living. The priorities of Jesus changed his outlook toward family, vocation, and faith. The Lordship issue was more important than life itself. Jesus was more than a devotional time in the morning, or temple time at mid-day. Jesus’s life was to be lived through Peter, and Peter wanted it that way.

In John 21 Jesus asked three times if Peter loves Him. “You know that I do.” The Greek words used included the affection of friendship, but later the word was a deeper commitment that was self-giving. When one gives their heart to another, they are no longer as much in control. They have given themselves away and that threatens control. That is exactly the point of Lordship. It is saying that I am off the throne of deciding what I want to do with Jesus and now He is in control of my affections and desire what He wants to do through me. For Peter it was to tend his sheep and catch men for the Kingdom, so, he writes to these sheep of Jesus, “In your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.”

The beauty of the stain glassed windows of cathedrals are best seen when the light shines from within. It is the inner light that reflects the glory of Christ in our talking, walking, living, and loving our Lord.