This past Sunday our church had the privilege and honor of welcoming Pastor Roy Ellis as our guest speaker! He brought us a wonderful message titled, Loving Deeper, stating “It’s not about trying harder, it's about loving deeper.
In Greek, the word agapē is the highest form of love. In the New Testament, it is the fatherly love of God for humans, as well as the human reciprocal love for God. (1)
The Apostle Peter, was asked by Jesus “Do you agapē me?”, two times. And each time Jesus asked Apostle Peter this question, he responded by saying, “Lord you know I philia you.”
In Greek, the word philia means “affectionate regard, friendship”, usually “between equals”. (2)
Pastor Roy Ellis points out that at this time Peter had just denied Jesus three times, and he may have felt very ashamed and unworthy of the highest form of love Jesus was asking for. Peter had messed up, some might say he blew it, but each time Jesus receives his answer He reminds him of his purpose... reaffirming him and loving him.
The third time Jesus asks him, he says “Peter do you philia me?” This is powerful, it shows us that Jesus met Peter right where he was. He came down to his level, but He was also showing Peter just how far he could go. That he could move from philia to agapē love, there was room to go deeper with Jesus.
“Sometimes you and I, we know God loves us. But sometimes we blow it! And we don’t feel worthy of His love, and the enemy uses that to try and prevent us from loving deeper. In essence, the answer is loving deeper to fulfill your purpose.”
- Pastor Roy Ellis
We all have a purpose to fulfill, but it is very hard for us to accomplish what God has planned for us by just trying harder. It’s loving deeper that enables us to step into true service to others. It is through deep love that God enables us to do more. He takes us to a deeper, more meaningful life, through our love of Him and others.
“The Martha’s in the church haven’t discovered the blessing of the Mary’s”.
- Pastor Roy Ellis
Martha is busy preparing something the Lord didn’t ask for. She’s trying harder, but Mary knew that loving Jesus was enough. Mary pursued Him first, she listened to Him, she positioned herself in a position of love and adoration for Jesus.
Trying harder may result in us failing. The Apostle Peter tried harder but ended up denying Jesus three times, but Jesus's response to Peter was love. The love of God will change your heart faster than any amount of effort you can put forth.
You can accomplish a lot for the Kingdom of God when you do it out of the motivation of deep love for God. You may find that when you are doing things with the right motivation, deep love for God, you can accomplish more than if you are trying and striving harder. You don’t become frustrated, worn out, anxious, or face spiritual burnout if your motivation comes from the right place.
“The answer is not trying harder, the answer is loving deeper. For when we love deeper we will serve His purpose for our lives more effectively.”
- Pastor Roy Ellis.
It’s time for us to desire God more. To love Him deeply. It’s time to stop striving and trying harder, and just lift our hands saying, “Father, I agapē you, I live for you.” No amount of work will earn you a seat in Heaven, it is only surrendering to Jesus, and loving Him deeply with the right motivation.
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
- 1 Corinthians 13:13
I invite you to view this message in its entirety at this link: https://youtu.be/k8bOHct8Xfc
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