THE FACEOF LOVE
IN SEARCH OF DISCIPLES
My Brothers and Sisters, of course you know that there are different ways of catching fish. Some fishermen throw out a net to dredge the sea. Other fisherman cast a rod baited with food. Traps can be built for fish to swim into, resulting in having to put for little effort to capture your meal. If one becomes skillful with a spear, a spear can be used to quickly pierce the fish. Then, there are those who are even skillful enough to use their hands to scoop the fish out of the water.
Jesus promised to make us a fisher of men. However, he instructed His Disciples to drop their fishing nets and follow Him, since this type of fishing required no specific tools, just the willingness to leave the world behind, follow Him, and become part of His Kingdom. Surely, His Disciples did not know what Jesus had in store for them, but, they trusted Him and followed. Jesus showed them that by lifting up The Truth, The Way, and The Life, they could draw all men unto Him.
We live in a different type of world today, where the majority of people continue to go to work without feeling that they must quit their job to follow Jesus and worship God. Although, He still lives today and reigns on High, we are still expected to keep our eyes on Him and follow. Jesus told His Disciples that the harvest is plenty, but, the laborers are few. Meaning that there are so many people ready to hear the Word of God and follow, yet, there are not enough servants of God to bring them the Word. Jesus is still calling to us to drop our nets and follow Him. What does this mean for us today? For many, the lack of Jesus's physical presence has changed the meaning of Discipleship and saying that you follow Jesus is sometimes no more than a cliché. When did this happen and why did this happen?
Today, many Believers gather together from time to time for worship and fellowship. -But, are they drawn by Jesus and to Jesus? Are they seeking The Face of Love? Is The Face of Love being used to draw men together unto Jesus, or, are people being drawn by a face other than that of The Face of Love? Can we identify Jesus's Love amongst Believers? Can Jesus's Love be felt from Believer to Believer?
Jesus gave us clear instructions for how He wanted His Disciples to continue with His ministry.
- Love one another as I have loved you
- They will know you by your love for one another
- Go out and make Disciples
- Stand until the end
IN SEARCH OF THE FACE OF LOVE
The key to what happened to Discipleship can be found in the question Jesus asked upon His return, after His crucifixion. "Do you love me more than these?" He asked. One must know what more is as well as who are these. Jesus followed Peter's affirmation of his love for Him, with, "Feed my sheep." Was this only directed at Peter, or was Jesus saying that those who love Him will feed His sheep? If the harvest is plenty, but, the laborers are few, surely Jesus knew that Peter could not accomplish this task alone. Peter was to set an example because of his love for Jesus. Jesus looked for Peter to have love that was greater than that love found in the world, and greater than brotherly love, for it was to be God's Unconditional Love.
John 21:15-16 King James Version
15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
Acts 1:1-8 King James Version
1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Until His final departure into Heaven, Jesus's Disciples were blessed to walk and talk with The Face of Love day-to-day. They experienced God's Unconditional Love, through Jesus, and little did they know that they were also seeing God, The Father, until Jesus told Phillip. Does this mean that we can never see The Face of Love without Jesus being present? Can we see Jesus and if so how and why? Is it necessary to see Jesus's Face to follow Him? Is it really a quest to see The Face of Love? How long and how far must we search? Do we give up if we cannot find it?
The Face of Love is the Image of God. As Believers, it is important that we know and see The Face of Love, in order to be like Jesus and live like Jesus, pleasing our Father, everyday. Searching for The Face of Love involves an examination of our eyesight, but, not our physical eyesight, our spiritual eyesight and what is felt in our hearts. Can we see the Face of Love if our hearts are not cleansed or if our faith and trust are not in God? What do we focus upon...the world or Heaven? How does God show us The Face of Love?
Most assuredly, after Jesus's crucifixion, there were many times when His Disciples felt grief or fear and said, "If only Jesus were here." Jesus was their peace and calm assurance. His presence brought them together and gave them direction.
We are told to have the Mind of Christ and not to take our eyes off of Jesus, but, can we achieve this without knowing what He looks like and having the desire to become like Him? Do we want Jesus with us? If we saw Him, would we recognize the Face of Love, or, would we be blinded because of what is in our heart?
If we do not accept The Truth, The Way, and The Life, we are blinded to The Face of Love, Christ Jesus. Accepting Christ is shown in the way that we live and by the way we love one another. Jesus told us many parables in hope that we would examine our heart and repent of our sins. He knew that we needed a visual picture of what love looked like, in order to truly love one another. -And yet, our minds are quick to forget what we have seen and heard, or, it is stolen from us by the enemy. However, nothing can separate us from the love of Christ Jesus, which is why we must know His Love, which comes from His Father, The Face of Love. We must accept and mimic God's Character to love like He has loved us.
For many of us, searching for The Face of Love becomes a journey into finding out who we are and who God wants us to become. It make take a long, hard look into the mirror to see our true image to compare it to the Image of God. We may have to accept the fact that we are projecting an image that is unpleasing to God. We may have to take time to evaluate and weigh what is most important to us in life. We must decide if we truly want abundant and everlasting life in God's Kingdom. Then, we must decide whether or not we will surrender all to God.
Published by Michelle T. Kenner