Peace – Prayer – Joy – Love
Woman Sunshine Forest

Abiding In The Greatest Love

  1. People Are Hard To Love!
    1. Man, people are hard to love, aren’t they? In our workplaces, our neighborhoods, our own families, & even here. And yet Jesus says:
    2. As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love… “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
    3. I’ve heard it said & have tried to remember that, “The people who most need our love are the hardest ones to love.”… & I have tried to remember that I can often enough be that hard person to love myself.
  2. Sacrificial Love Is Hard!
    1. As if loving people isn’t hard enough, we’re even commanded to love them self-sacrificially! Even so far as laying down our lives for others. Sometimes it’s hard enough just to be in the same room with people, let alone love them enough to sacrifice of ourselves. Again Jesus says:
    2. “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.”
    3. These can feel like hard words for us … keeping commandments and giving up our lives for others … IFwe want to be friends with Jesus. That makes Jesus sound like a little kid, “If you reeeaally loved me …”
  3. Abiding In Love Is Joyful Relationship, Not Dutiful Slavery
    1. The clue to resolving this tension is that Jesus isn’t calling us to a kind of legalistic servitude & conditional love. He’s pointing us to blessings.
    2. “I have loved you; abide in my love … I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete…I do not call you servants any longer…but I have called you friends…You did not choose me but I chose you.”
    3. Jesus is expressing his profound love for us. He’s inviting us to abide in that love; to live in it, and to experience real joy in our lives as a result.
    4. What’s more is Jesus points out that we don’t earn his love, friendship, and joy. Rather he chose us. He sacrificed his own life in love for us; not the other way around. He teaches us here, more than commanding.
  4. Experiencing That Love, Friendship, & Joy As A Beloved One
    1. Jesus embodies what he is teaching here – even to death – for our joy.
    2. “I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete…You are my friends if you do what I command you.
      I do not call you servants any longer, … but I have called you friends … so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name.”
    3. Jesus invites us to abide in that love. We hear and focus on ideas like accomplishor achieve, but we’re invited to abide in him & each other.
  5. Experiencing The Gospel Good News In That Greatest Love
    1. It seems appropriate that we encounter these passages today as we gather around the Lord’s Table; the remembrance of that great love.
    2. Here we are filled on abundant grace & unconditional love so we may respond to Jesus’ purpose for us, “I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last…that you may love one another.”Be filled at the table!

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