Do you like it or love it?

Published 2:49 pm Friday, November 17, 2017

Do you ever find yourself saying, “I love that car,” or “I love that suit,” or “I love …” — you get what I mean.

For me, if I have ever gotten close to using a statement like that it would be, “I love ice cream.”

But I have learned to choose my words wisely.

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I mean, think about it — “I love ice cream.” Are you kidding?

Those who know me, know ice cream is my favorite dessert and, yes, my favorite snack.

I really like ice cream, but I love my wife.

I really like steak, but I love my children.

Think about it. How many times have you used the term “love” when it comes to things? We’re all guilty. All of us.

Have you ever read scripture that you know you have read 100 times before but when you read it again, there is something that “jumps out” at you that you never saw before?

I’m sure you have and it has happened to me time and again.

I would like to share one of those passages of scriptures with you keeping in line with “I love…”

In John 20, Jesus has already been resurrected and has appeared to the disciples on more than one occasion. This time He was on the shore waiting for the fishermen to return.

Before the Lord called the disciples to follow Him, we know some of them were fishermen by vocation.

Peter was one of the fishermen. He fished to provide for his family, to eat, to give to others. He knew how to fish.

What does Peter decide to do in John 21? Yes, go fishing.

Scripture tells us in John 21:3 they (Peter and his friends) fished all night and “caught nothing.” No doubt when there wasn’t success on one side of the boat, they put their nets on the other side. Still they caught nothing.

The next morning, they saw a man on the shore, not knowing it was Jesus. Jesus asked them in verse 5, “Children have ye any meat?”

He knew they didn’t have any fish in their net. They replied with a simple, “No.”

Jesus told them to “cast the net on the right side of the ship.” No doubt they said within themselves, “We’ve already done that and didn’t catch a thing.”

But they did as Jesus told them. They ended up catching 153 “great” fish.

Most of us are familiar with the question Jesus asked Peter on the shore while fish was frying over an open flame.

Jesus asked in verse 15, “… lovest thou me more than these?” The part I had never seen before?

What if Jesus was asking Peter if he loved Jesus more than, food, yes, but more than his vocation, how he made his living?

Do we love Jesus more than anything including our families, jobs, our paychecks, out titles, our ministry?

Yes, I like ice cream, but I love Jesus!

The Rev. Michael S. Smith serves as the Executive Pastor of the Church of the Living God, located at 114 Franklin Ave. He has served on staff (part/full-time) since 1994. He can be reached at 745-1865 or