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04-05-11 HighQuest John 15:12-17

April 10, 2011

The passage I read was John 15:12-17

You can find that passage here:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=john%2015:12-17&version=NIV

My attempt to summarize the passage:

This passage all boils down to love. What can’t be summarized is what self sacrificing love really is and what it’s purpose is. For that you’ll just have to read and reflect on the truth of this passage yourselves.

As I reflect:

This starts off with what is a pretty tall order. Jesus says we are to love each other as He loved us. Now, how did Jesus display his love for us? That’s right, He was beaten, wiped with shards of bone and rock, had his beard ripped from his face, had long thorns driven beneath the skin around his crown, and after having the majority of the flesh on His back shredded in agonizing pain, He then carried the majority of His own cross through a city and up a small mountain where he had nails driven through His flesh before He was then raised in the air and dropped several feet into the hole that would hold our cross up as he reaped fully the physical and spiritual punishment for our sin. Then while hanging there receiving our shame and pain, He forgave us because we didn’t realize what we were doing. This is unconditional self sacrificing love. It is the type of love we are commanded to have among each other. Do you have it? Can you say that you love anyone in your life so much that you would go through that to save them from an eternal separation from God? Would you lay down your life for one of your children? Perhaps I could answer yes to that. How bout for a different family member? Perhaps. How bout for a friend? Would you lay down your life for a friend? This is the command.

Then Jesus goes on to say that He no longer calls us servants but “I have called you friends”. So I ask myself, “are you willing to lay down your life for the Lord’s use just as Jesus in obedience laid down His life for us?” Are you willing to die to your old self and allow God full control of your life? Have you given Him full Lordship that you might bear good fruit that will last? The passage here also tells me that I didn’t chose Jesus, but He chose me and appointed me to that I might go and bear fruit that will last and so that whatever I ask in Jesus’ name, the Father will give me. I’d say laying down one’s own life (though a tall order) is but a small price to pay to have a fulfilling relationship with the living Creator and be worked through and empowered by His Holy Spirit. Now I am left to consider….. How do I love others in this same way? Sure, I can lay down my life for God, but for other friends? I know I could for my wife or any one of my kids as well, but how do I live the action of unconditional self sacrificing love for my friends? What bout for total strangers? This is where the real reflection comes I think.

I am left to be conscious of how to serve others but more importantly, I must consciously be attentive to my motive for such service. I don’t want to serve others out of sense of duty, but out of love. It may not be a switch that I just turn on and off, but perhaps through prayer and conscious focus on the subject the Lord will grant the growth of my heart to love others as I ought. I cannot imagine the ability being a human one that I alone may obtain and so it must be from God that one obtains such a love for others as to be willing to lay down their own life. May God grant this agape love in me that I may better reflect the light of His Son deep into the world, piercing every dark place with the powerful love of God. In this way may the fruit I bear be long lasting and effective.

My response to the Lord:

Yahweh, how can one respond after meditating on your love. I am thankful, though that word hardly encompasses how I feel about what you have done for me. The love that you displayed for me…I struggle with how to love others in this way. I am not so loving and self sacrificing that I can do what you have done for me. I want to, but I cannot do it without you. I need you to teach me how and create in me and mold this unconditional love of others. Please work through me how you desire and place in me your agape love for others. I ask this that I may better abide in your will. May I receive freely in your mighty name. Amen.

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