Reading the Word
John 15:9–17 (ESV)
9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 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. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
Understanding and Applying the Word
Jesus called on his disciples to “abide in my love.” They were to love as Christ had loved. This meant obedience to Jesus and loving one another. The love of the disciples was to be like that of Jesus, who laid down his life for others. Their love was to be sacrificial. When the disciples lived in this way, they could be sure that whatever they asked the Father in Jesus’ name would be given. This does not mean they would receive anything they wanted, but that prayers “in Jesus’ name” would be given. This type of prayer is one that is consistent with the will and purposes of Christ.
Love for others, especially fellow Christians, is a constant theme throughout the New Testament. We are told that those who love Jesus are also those who love others. Those who love Jesus are those who desire to obey him and the summation of his teaching is to love others just as he has loved us. Too many of us fail to love as we should, instead constantly working to tear down fellow believers so we look better. We are quick to point out faults and slow to offer grace and encouragement. We do this because we fail to love. Let us abide in the love of Jesus and work to love one another.
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