John 15:9-17 (NIV)
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 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. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 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. 16 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. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
We are chosen by God to become friends with Christ. This is love with a purpose: to bear fruit by obeying God’s command to love one another.
The world greatly values love, but the purpose of love in the world is often for self-satisfaction. To love for our own sake, or a moral expectation to treat other people well is only a small part of the love story. God’s story of love for his people is told throughout the Bible and through generations of Christians for thousands of years.
We have not been able to demonstrate God’s love to others in our lives or in the church. We see the wounds and scars of this brokenness in our society, in our relationships.
When we commemorate special occasions like Mother’s Day, it can be a time of great joy mixed with feelings of loss and sadness. Even our closest family relationships can leave us feeling empty.
When our human family relationships are at their very best, they bring us a glimpse of the joy we will experience when we join God’s family for eternity.
God is a loving Father, yet he cares for us like a nurturing Mother and befriends us through Christ like a brother. We don’t feel we deserve such perfect love, yet this is God’s grace and mercy in fullness.
God’s command is to love others, but first, be filled with His perfect love—to fill the emptiness and disappointment that is sometimes caused by human relationships. God’s love is sufficient and brings us joy and hope overflowing. Out of this abundance of God’s love, we are able to demonstrate the love of Jesus to those around us.
Prayer— Like a river overflowing, Lord, may we know your great love for us, and know the grace and strength of Jesus Christ to love others; to love with purpose, for your glory, forever. Amen.