John 21:15, When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”
Do you love God? As a Christian reading this, you’ve probably answered immediately like Peter did, “Yes! Of course I do!” Good. Yet consider the wider context of this occasion. Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves Him, and each time he answers “yes.” Days before this, Peter had denied he knew Jesus three times. That Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him, then, is highly significant. With the resurrected Christ, Peter knew he could never deny Christ again. After all, how could anyone deny Christ after confronting Him post-resurrection?
Think back in your own life when you have denied Christ. It doesn’t have to be as dramatic as Peter, who denied Him thrice in public. We all deny Christ when we choose sin over Him. Whether the sin be taking God’s name in vain, lying, homosexuality, premarital sex, pornography, stealing, or what-have-you, we have all denied Christ time and time again.
So, I ask you again, do you love God? If you answered “yes” again, good. How do you know you love Him? Is it a feeling? I doubt it. You don’t “feel” that you love God; you simply know you do. We can never rely on our feelings anyway because our feelings are constantly changing. One knows they love God when they desire obedience to God and desire to please God. The good news is that you do please God, for without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Yes, even though you sin, you are pleasing to God. Your love for God is acceptable to Him not because of anything you might do, but because of what Christ did. If you can answer “yes” to the question, “Do you love God” no matter how much you loathe yourself for your sin, you know you have the Holy Spirit because only the Holy Spirit can give you the ability to give your “yes” to God.