New Hope Notes
Do You Love Me?
The Greatest Life Ever Lived
Pastor Wayne Cordeiro
We are going to talk about the life Peter led after Jesus’ resurrection. Through Peter, we can learn about what it really means to love Jesus. One of the greatest quests of mankind is to find the purpose of one’s life. And I can summarize this with one statement. The more eternity you infuse into your daily life, the more fulfilled your life will be, because you are created to be an eternal person. It’s never about money or career as these are not eternal. So if you infuse as much eternity as you can into your daily activities, you will feel more fulfilled every day.
After Jesus was crucified and resurrected, Peter decided to go back to fishing, and the other disciples followed him to do the same, too. We have to be careful how we walk through life as we cannot underestimate how much people will follow our foot steps. When my son was a kid, he tried to follow in my footprints when we were walking on the beach. And God told me that my son would do that for the rest of his life - following my foot steps. So we cannot underestimate how much we can impact other people’s lives. As the other disciples were influenced by Peter, Peter was also about to miss his whole greater calling. After they couldn’t catch any fish, Jesus showed up on shore and asked them if they had caught anything. They answered “no” so Jesus told them to put down the net on the other side. They caught a lot afterwards. One of them started realizing that it was Jesus. Peter was very thrilled and jumped into the water so he could swim to Jesus. Peter would have missed His whole calling if Jesus hadn’t shown up that day. You cannot confuse your calling with your career. Your career is only for what you are paid, but your calling is for what you are made. Since we are made for eternity, we are here to influence the people around us with eternity and we need to think what we can do for eternity every day. When eternity is being sparked, we will also feel more fulfilled. Otherwise, we will eventually lose our identities of being the people of eternity. In fact, we can see that people are actually losing their identities already through different actions nowadays. There is a bill at the legislature proposing that people can change their genders on their birth certificates if they want to. I bring this up not because I want to condemn those people. I am trying to point out the fact that they are losing their identities through their own actions. We can be sincerely chasing wrong things while these things don’t lead us to any of our true purposes. Consequently, we end up losing our identities. It was written, “When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said: ‘Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?’ He said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know I love You.’ He said to him, ‘Feed My lambs.’” (John 21:15) Jesus was asking Peter if he loved Him more than fish because the “fish” were messing with Peter’s identity. There is more in our life and “fish” is not the answer. “Fish” can be a job, a person, a relationship, a promotion, or anything that can mess up your eternity and identity. Peter thought that there was nothing left for him after Jesus wasn’t on earth with him. So he went back to his old career which was fishing and he definitely went the wrong way. He lost sight of eternity and his identity all together. There is indeed more in life and it’s not just about our career, money or success. So how do we get back to our identity if we have gone the wrong way? We will first need to love Jesus as:
1. Love makes PLEASING JESUS your greatest DESIRE.
Your greatest desire is not pleasing yourself, or finding leisure and convenience. Your greatest desire should be pleasing Jesus. It has been keeping me from losing my identity and not to be distracted by the “fish” that could be very tempting. It was written, “There fore the disciple that Jesus loved said, ‘It is the Lord!’ When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he was stripped for work) and threw himself into the sea … for they were about one hundred yards from the land.” (John 21:7-8) We can see that Peter couldn’t wait and swam to Jesus because he wanted to be with Jesus. You need to be careful, not every opportunity in life is from God. Some of them can be the distracting “fish”. If you choose to get the “fish”, your faith can be shattered and your family can be split because of you losing your identity. Some of you might think that you may want to pray about this and that first before getting involved in any actions for God. Meanwhile, you need to be aware that:
2. Love is always seen in ACTION.
You can sing or pray that you love God, but the fruit is in action. The scripture said, “He said to him a second time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love Me?’ He said to Him, ‘Yes Lord, You know that I love You.’ He said, ‘Shepherd My sheep.’” (John 21:16) When you shepherd others or help others, you are infusing eternity back into your activities, and that’s how you are brought back to your identity in Christ. It’s happening in America that we are losing our identities on earth. People steal others’ identities for malicious reasons. And identity theft also can happen spiritually as the devil likes to steal your identity and impair your life. We have to infuse eternity into other people’s lives which infuses it into our own lives. Each of us has a gift that we can use to infuse eternity back into people’s lives. You can do it with a simple action such as having a conversation with others, and letting them know that you are praying for their needs. If you don’t use your gift, the devil will come and steal away your identity so as to make you forget who you are.
I want to remind you that you are a people of eternity. You need to be involved in actions that bring others to eternity. If you say that you can’t be involved in New Hope because it’s too big, I need to remind you that it’s not about you. It’s about using the gift that you have to touch someone’s life in church. When the church is so big, there are more lives you can touch. A church is not about being comfortable and convenient. We cannot lose our eternal assignment because of our self contentment. If New Hope is too big for you, what are you going to do in Heaven? New Hope is actually a very small house church when we compare it with Heaven!
Don’t think that you are not good enough or you don’t have any gift. Each of you is good enough and has your own gift to do something to infuse eternity. Barnabus was a son of encouragement. I want to start a Barnabus ministry at New Hope. Everyone who signs up for this Barnabus ministry will pledge to encourage 5 people a day for the sake of eternity. If there are 100 people involved in this ministry, then there will be 500 people being encouraged every day. And there will be 2500 people being encouraged in 5 days. Next, there will be 10,000 people being encouraged a month. After a year, there will be 120,000 people being encouraged! Everyone can be a part of having eternity if we all get involved in actions toward that. You should never think that you have nothing to give because everyone has a gift. However, you might be shutting it down just because you don’t believe that you have. In the Britain’s Got Talents show, two contestants sang a duet. One was called Jonathan and the other was called Charlotte. Jonathan is a big overweight guy and people criticize him for his appearance without really knowing him. Charlotte is his friend who stands by him always when people criticize his appearance. And she also brings a great deal of encouragement to him in their friendship. They went to the contest because their singing teacher thought that they should. So they did. At first, the judges and the audience were not responding well once they saw Jonathan’s appearance. However, after the two of them started singing, the judges and audience realized that Jonathan has an incredible voice and everyone was moved by both of them. At the end, the judge gave them great feedback and said yes to them. One of the judges challenged Jonathan to “dump” Charlotte as he thought Charlotte was going to hold Jonathan back. But Jonathan was faithful to his friend and replied that they came as a duo and would stay as a duo. Jonathan and Charlotte won and it was life changing for them - especially Jonathan. Jonathan admitted that he wouldn’t be on stage if Charlotte wasn’t with him. We can see how important it is for us to support each other and encourage each other. It is divinely magical when we do so. If you stay together to encourage each other, you will be in awe at what God can do through this church. As you stay together as a family or friends to encourage each other, there is already some kind of Barnabus ministry going on. 120,000 people could reach towards eternity as we do so. But the devil would love to split us up and we cannot let it happen.
Everyone has a dream of what he or she can be for God. So where can you start? It was written, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) There is something that everyone can do and it’s not a ploy to manipulate. There are children growing up in the absence of parents because their parents are in prison. And the statistics showed that these children will follow the foot steps of their parents and end up falling in the same path as their imprisoned parents did. The government has spent a lot of resources on those who are in prison but not so much on the children. New Hope has an Agape ministry for those children whose parents are in prison. And they came to know Christ and accepted Jesus through the ministry. Recently some of them are at the age of going to College. So, we raised a lot of fund for them to go to New Hope Christian College and this is going to break the curse of following their parents’ foot steps. When people give money to the fund, they are not only giving to an education fund, but they are also investing in eternity because these kids will be growing up as Christian leaders to influence Hawaii when they come back from college. The fund is not only changing the kids’ future, but also changing the future of Hawaii. Thus, each of us can start being involved through giving. We give because:
· GIVING allows EVERYONE to be in the ministry.
You can change someone’s life even if you give just a dollar. Your giving goes to the ministry that is going to change people’s life and it will spark eternity. The scripture said, “He said to him a third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love Me?’ Peter was grieved because He said to him a third time, ‘Do you love Me?’ And he said to Him, ‘Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.’ He said to him, ‘Tend My sheep.’” (John 21:17) The word “tend” means “feed”. Giving is a way of feeding His sheep because there will be life growing and being transformed. Everybody can give. When you give, you are also showing your love for God. And
3. Love never COMPARES. Love refuses to RATIONALIZE. Instead, it ACTS.
If you think that you don’t have anything to give, it’s because you are comparing yourself with others and rationalizing what you have. You don’t need to be a millionaire before being a giver. You can start giving a small amount first. Everybody does have something to give and you need to start giving and acting to infuse eternity into your life and other people’s lives. After Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him three times, Peter asked Jesus a question later on and it was written, “So Peter, seeing him said to Jesus, ‘Lord, what about that man?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!’” (John 21:21-22) All you need to do is to follow Jesus. You are never to compare yourself with others. Instead you just have to follow Christ with actions, as God has much for you to do. If you start acting and infusing eternity into your daily lives, your marriage is going to change, your career will change, and your finance will change. You whole sense of fulfillment and life will change. You have to start doing things for the sake of eternity instead of yourself. Otherwise, you will just be a shallow person and you life will not be fulfilled. The Bible said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, he is it who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father and I will love him and reveal Myself to him.” (John 14:21) A brother called Frank Kauhi accepted Jesus a few weeks ago in our congregation. He was homeless for 11 years. He has physical limitations because of an injured arm. He had a hard time surviving and he couldn’t collect welfare or social security. He would get really tired sometimes and had no means to travel from one point to another. But he realized that he has a higher calling from God to be in ministry after accepting Jesus. He wanted to reach out to those who are homeless and infuse eternity into people’s lives regardless of his circumstances. He knows he has something to give even though he has physical limitations. Today, I encourage all of you to start thinking what you can do every day to infuse eternity into other people’s lives. That’s what God made you to be and you need to hold on to this identity and act as the people of eternity. As we change people’s lives with eternity, our lives will be changed too. When you put pleasing Jesus as the greatest desire of your life, you will also find that you are in the greatest season of your life. Let’s start acting today. Amen.
1. How can we be fulfilled every day?
2. What should be our greatest desire and how do we attain it?
3. How can we see love?
4. What is the simple way that allows everyone to be in the ministry?
5. What should you refuse to do and start to do when you love?