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Grace Lutheran Church Devotional: John 15:9–17

By Administrator

May 10, 2024

[Jesus said:] “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11These 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. 13Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15No 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. 16You 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. 17These things I command you, so that you will love one another.”

As sinful human beings, we have given Christ Jesus countless reasons to not love us, yet that did not change His mind. Jesus never chose us to love because we loved Him first. Even the disciples were not particularly good at love. Sure, they talked a good talk, but they had no game. Earlier on the night our text is relating to, Peter and all the disciples said they would make any sacrifice for Jesus, including dying with Him (cf. Mt. 26:35). They spoke love, but when the time came to sacrifice, to put their lives on the line, they cut and ran. No, Jesus did not choose to love the disciples because they loved Him. In fact, Jesus was quite insistent: “You did not choose Me, but I chose you” (16).

How do you define love? Do you define love with words or with something else? In our Gospel text, Jesus does not suggest we love—with Him it is not an option. Twice in our reading He commands us to love. How do we love? We are to love just as Jesus loved and loves us still. And that is a tall order because to love as Jesus loved, means that we serve as Jesus served. Jesus loved and served by sacrifice. To love as Jesus loved us is to lay down our lives for others. That does not necessarily mean laying down our lives literally, but by giving up our time, our comforts, and our treasures. As Baptized children of God, we want to practice a love that gives, that does something and does not desire something in return for personal benefit. Rather than saying “I love you,” we should say, “What can I do for you?” That is sacrificial love because love without sacrifice is nothing. Sacrificial love is love for those who do not love us. As Christians we love because Jesus first loved us.

The sacrificial love of Jesus is hard for us to do. There is no doubt about it that it takes effort, practice, concentration, and prayer. It requires open eyes to see the needs of others. So, how can you show love to those at home, at church, at work, and in our neighborhood? Love with the love of Jesus. Love because Jesus first loved you. Say, “I love you. What can I do for you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit?”

Grace Lutheran Church LCMS

825 North 1st West

Cheyenne Wells, CO, 80810-0728

Sunday Service begins at 9:00AM

Reverend Steven Zandstra