ESSAY-LIKE SUNDAY MORNING: I missed today’s Sunday School due to work, however, I reviewed the lesson and put a few words together. The lesson was entitled, “THE JOY OF LOVE”. The Scripture was from the book of John, chapter 15, verses 1-17. The KEY VERSE was verse 12 which reads, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you”. One of the lesson aims, which struck me as being particularly powerful asked the question, “What role does LOVE play in human life?”
Someone once asked the question, “How do I know I’m loving God enough?”, to which an answer was given, “One of the most reliable means to gauge our love for God is how deeply we love one another”. If we’re not loving others to the pentacle of loving, then we are not showing God—as the Emotions said—“the best of our love”.
How seriously did Jesus take this love thing? Twice, in both verses 12 and 17, Jesus tells His followers, “…My command to you is this: Love each other” and, in verse 12, He further clarified this command by adding, “as I have loved you”.
So how high is that standard? How his is the standard of, “as I have loved you”. Verse 13 tells us EXACTLY how high the bar is set when it declares, “Greater love has no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends”. That’s a very, very high standard, isn’t it? I mean whom among us loves a friend, not a child but a friend, enough to DIE for them? I don’t have a friend like that, personally. Do you?
BUT, Jesus did that! He laid down his life for—not only his friends—but for all humankind.
We are all His friends—and thus—He should be ours. The old familiar hymn says, “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and grieves to bear. What a privilege to carry, everything to Him in prayer”
All we have to do is abide in him. Abide means to dwell or to live in. All we have to do is live our lives in Jesus; follow his commandments; love one another as we love ourselves and love God and everything else will fall into place.
Martin Luther King made this powerful statement, “I have decided to love. If you are seeking the highest good, I think you can find it through love. And the beautiful thing is that we are moving against wrong when we do it, because John was right, God is love. He who hates does not know God, but he who has love has the key that unlocks the door to the meaning of ultimate reality”.
CLOSING PRAYER: “Holy and Loving Father, we rejoice in the gift of Your grace and mercy toward us. Stir our hearts and minds to emulate Your love and kindness that we may fulfill the greatest commandment of all, which is to love one another as You have loved us. We desire to be totally absorbed in Your will. IN Jesus’ name we pray. Amen
Our obedience to the will of God gives us complete joy as we share in the life of Christ and in his love.