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No greater love than that of the Father

 

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 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. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. 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. 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. These things I command you, so that you will love one another [John 15:9-17.]

These verses are the core, the center, the very heart of Jesus’ teachings about love. He gives us the example we are to follow. He loves us as the Father loves Him. He wants us to abide in that same love. Jesus asks us to keep his commandments. When we keep the commandments of Jesus, we remain or abide in His love. And He says it is for the sake of joy, that our joy may be full. It is for the sake of joy that is present in our relationship with Him and for the joy of doing that which we have been called. And what follows from the joy is the commandment to “love one another as I have loved you.” These words summarize the purpose of our lives: to love one another as Christ has loved us.

And how has He loved us? The greatest expression of love is to lay down one’s life for another. We know of hundreds of examples of this kind of love, where people lay down their lives for each other. We immediately think of the military and soldiers laying down their lives so that others can live. We think of firemen, policemen, mothers, fathers, friends, and many other people who sacrifice their lives so that we may live a richer and fuller life.

That is what Jesus did for us when he died on the cross for our sins. Not only to give us a richer and fuller life, but to give us eternal life with Him. This is the depth of His love for us and how we are to love others. No longer does He call us servants, but friends. No greater love is bestowed upon mankind than this!

 
 
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