This week’s message!
John 15: 9-17
We are on week number two of 2019! I pray that you were able to have your Epiphany moment last week and that you were involved in a great study and prayer effort to begin connecting with God more in your 2019. Remember:. Do Not Be Afraid. There Is Enough. You Are Enough.
This morning’s focus will not only be on the text which we have read, but we will also be looking into how this relates to the story of the feeding of the 5000 that we are building our year around.
In the story we find Jesus being approached by the disciples in an attempt to let the people go so that they could find something to eat at home or in town. In other words, the disciples were wanting Jesus to just provide the healing and message and then let them go “fend for themselves”. Jesus response should move us, and if we slow down and focus on the words he chose to use, it makes sense in light of what we read today. “But Jesus said to them, ‘They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat’”! NASB
V 9-12. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
Jesus isn’t worried about the political tides of the times. He isn’t worried about what the Pharisees will think about Him. He isn’t worried that their resources are low. He knows one thing; LOVE. We like to use this word when we feel strongly about something and I think that we have made it into something else. We like to use the word love in place of infatuation. We like to use the word love in place of, it makes me feel good. We like to use love to describe how we feel, when Jesus is using love to explain what He does.
Love each other as I have loved you. Jesus laid down His life for us. He took our shame and guilt upon His shoulders and decided that He loved us so much that He didn’t want us to go through that, so He did. Love is so much more than a feeling or an emotion, it is a verb.
Jesus tells those disciples to give them something to eat, because He loves them. As we start off our year and begin to get closer connected with God, we find Him telling us, “They do not need to go away; YOU give them something”. This is an action that is the full demonstration of how much we love someone. When those disciples took those loaves and fish and began to distribute this blessing from God, they realized what Jesus was trying to do. As every hungry face came by them to receive this gift, they saw joy and happiness, they saw hope fill the eyes of people. They saw a soul restored and all it took was a simple act of giving them something that they needed.
V 13-17. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.
Jesus command to His disciples was to love. Jesus demonstrated His own words by laying down His life for His friends. Not one of us chose Jesus, but He chose us and appointed us to go and bear fruit. He called your name, you heard His voice. You have accepted this relationship with Jesus and now He is calling you to ask in His name for whatever you need and the Father will give it to you. He is calling you to love each other.
When Jesus is sitting here in front of His disciples He knows full well that we will one day be reading of this and that we will have our own choices to make. How are we choosing to love each other?
Are we loving each other when we continually point out the sin and faults of each other? Are we loving each other when we gossip and talk about each other? Are we loving each other when we simply just think to ourselves, “oh, someone else will help them”, or “do they really deserve my help?”
Let me tell you what we deserve. We deserve death. We deserve punishment. We deserve everything that we receive, and yet Jesus decided to give you more than you deserve. Jesus decided that no matter what our faults were, no matter what we might have done in our lives, HE LOVES US! He loves us so much that He chose to die for us.
I am asking you this morning to bear witness to what Jesus has done for you, and to in turn begin to do the same for those around you. No matter what they have done. No matter what choices they have made in their life. No matter what you think they deserve. Give them everything you’ve got, because you have a Savior who gave us His life for you.
Jesus wants us to bear fruit. Jesus wants us to fill our baskets with whatever we have, and allow Him to bless us, and give of ourselves to a world that may not know Him, so that they WILL know Him. Jesus wants us to make a difference in the poverty around us, IN HIS NAME. Jesus wants us to make a difference in the hatred around us, IN HIS NAME. Jesus wants us to LOVE EACH OTHER, IN HIS NAME… no matter what.
We have to understand that God’s love for us moved first. His love for us saw Him send His only Son into the world as a baby in a manger. He didn’t wait until you were good enough, until you were without sin. He came running toward us with everything He had, even though it would cost Him dearly. He impacted our ungrateful lives knowing full well that we would never be able to fully repay Him back for it. He chose you. He loves you.
There is nothing on this earth that you can do to earn this, but YOU can give the people around you something. You can give them Jesus. Your actions and your words can mean eternal life and death for someone. Please love. Please give them something.