Friday Morning: 22 Feb 2019 – John 15:12-27 ~ The world hates you, so love each other.

Friday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (Collect for Purity)

Almighty God: to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid; cleanse the thoughts of my heart through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that I may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name, through Christ my Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – John 15:12-27 (NLT)

Love Each Other

This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. This is my command: Love each other.

The World Hates You

“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me. They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin. Anyone who hates me also hates my Father. If I hadn’t done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did, yet they still hate me and my Father. This fulfills what is written in their Scriptures: ‘They hated me without cause.’

“But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me. And you must also testify about me because you have been with me from the beginning of my ministry.”
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Morning Reflection:

The world hates you, so love each other.

+ Why does the world hate believers? Because the world hates Jesus –

  • believers belong to Jesus and are no longer part of it. (vs 19)
  • the world rejects Jesus and the one who sent him. (vs 21)
  • Jesus exposes the sin and guilt of the world. (vs 22)

You can see that I’ve reversed the order in today’s reading; the world’s rejection and hatred is not solely the reason that believers are called to love each other. However, it is true that if we are seeking acceptance and love, we should begin with believers.

+ How then are we to love each other? The same way Jesus loved us –

  • selectively – Jesus chose his friends, they didn’t choose him. (vs 16)
  • sacrificially – Jesus laid down his life for his friends. (vs 13)
  • obediently – Jesus’ friends live out his commands. (vs 15)
  • productively – Jesus’ friends tell others about him. (vs 27)

+ Telling others about Jesus is risky business. Lives lived in Christ threaten unbelievers; expect backlash. And backlash exposes our own hypocrisy, i.e. our inability to love others as Jesus loved us. The good news is – it’s not about us. Our testimony must point others to Jesus, and the Holy Spirit will help us.

“But I will send you the Advocate — the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me. And you must also testify about me because you have been with me from the beginning of my ministry.” – John 15:26-27

Questions for consideration:

  • Why do you think that believers tend to hang out with each other? Please explain.
  • Do you have both believing and unbelieving friends? How does your relationship with them differ? Please explain.
  • Have you experienced backlash from unbelievers? Please explain.
  • Who comes to mind when you think of telling an unbeliever about Jesus? What hinders you? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer:

Holy Spirit: Enlighten me with the truth of who Jesus is, and who I am in him. Change how I think about other believers, that I might welcome them as your chosen friends, appointed to give and receive the love of Jesus to one another. Help me recall all I have learned and experienced in my relationship with Jesus, that I might boldly bear witness to unbelievers – all to the honor and glory of the Father who sent him into the world. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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“Love Always Wins” – Michael W. Smith

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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