“As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you; continue ye in my love.
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
Ye have not chosen me but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
These things I command you, that ye love one another.
If the world hate you ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world,but I have CHOSEN you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” John 15:9-18
Love is the most misunderstood word in existence, and love in its truest sense is often left undiscovered.
When Jesus gave us these words, which he went on in verse twenty to remind us to, “REMEMBER the word that I have said unto you…” as He went on to warn them that we can never expect to be treated any differently than he was.
We are truly judged by the company we keep and often once you started keeping company, as our old Southern sayings go, with Jesus, you will find out pretty fast who your real friends are, which in most cases, will then mean were.
So often all of us at one time or another have been hit with the old routine of “If you really loved me…” and you know that is the biggest trap the enemy has ever set.
People who really love you will NEVER play that game, they will NEVER use the love that they know you have for them as a tool against you, to manipulate and control you or to coerce you into to bending to their will and never caring at all about you or your feelings.
So that my friends is the state of the world, and just as Jesus said, the world, referring to those people, people who do not honor God or his teachings and sure do not want you to honor him, they will hate you.
Being human will all need to feel love and we need acceptance and the enemy plays on those needs because he knows where our greatest weakness lies.
That it why it is imperative to cultivate a relationship with Jesus and of course if you have never accepted salvation, that is where you must start.
Think about that, just as he told us, there is NO GREATER LOVE, the love of God, the one who created you, just as He told the Prophet Jeremiah… “BEFORE, I formed thee in the belly I knew thee”… and he knew you, me, and every other person who was or ever will be created.
And His love, mercy, and grace will never fail.
He gives this freely, openly, honestly, no strings attached, no deals to be made.
He just gives all that He is and He gives from the moment He brings you into this world through all the ups, downs, of life until your golden years.
He gives us that hope, that choice, and that offer to open that door as He beckons for you to open your heart and as He also promises that even as time fades from us that He is there.
Isaiah 46:4: “And even to your old age I am he and even to your hoar hairs (gray hairs) will I carry you; I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.”
Now those are the words of God Himself promising us that even to the end of everything, He will carry us, deliver us, and as He also promised in scripture elsewhere, He will never leave us or forsake us.
THAT is Love.
So, you see no matter where you are, where you have been, none of it matters.
God wants you right where you are, and maybe the enemy has lied to you, convincing you that God has already called too many times, or you have went too far or that your family, relationships, or circumstance disqualifies you from ever being able to serve God, again one of the biggest lies of all.
Jesus loves you and He died on the cross to save you, and it is never too late until you take your last breath.
He will save you, all you have to do is ask him into your heart, because He will not just force you accept him, or force you to accept the greatest gift of all, His love the only true love, and a love that will never fail.
And as I leave you, I want to leave you with this question, Why spend life never knowing what you cannot know until you have accepted it?
I know that was a tongue twister, meaning this, never dismiss the thought of the existence of God or the relationship that is waiting for you, a relationship of peace and love, and truly knowing God, until you have at least sought Him.
Before I was saved I did not understand that either.
I always thought of God as just out in Heaven, we could pray to him and I believed in Him but never understood what it meant to know His presence, and no one can know that or understand that until they are saved.
This is how it works… you believe, you ask and then you know.
He is not in the business of proving Himself to us before we believe, we believe and then He reveals Himself to us. that is the part the world that he referred to is missing, and they do hate him or rather the belief in Him, because their hearts are so darkened and their minds so blinded that they do not believe in anything, they live in the moment, never believing that there is more.
Falsely thinking that this world, this life is all that there is, and as the Bible teaches us, if we only had hope in this life, and our only confidence was in the things of this world we would be miserable.
He proved how much He loves us, enough to die for us, and there is no greater nor will there ever be a greater love than that of Jesus Christ.
Thanks for reading, sorry that I was running so late with this series that was supposed to be for Valentine’s Day, but God knows everything and His timing is perfect so I hope in some way this will bless you TODAY!
Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson REVISTED 02/16/2022 & 02/12/2023
Series posts: Angels, Roses, & True Love/ Intro
Angels, Roses, & True Love : Part 2 “Angels”