Tag Archives: John 15

Abide and Know

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
[John 15:7 ESV]

This isn’t a magical formula. This isn’t prosperity gospel, name it and claimed crap. This isn’t a secret way to get what YOU want.

NO

This is about abiding in Jesus, so much so, that your desires are what God desires. When Jesus says, “ask whatever you wish” he means that when you abide in him, you will ask for whatever glorifies God. What you wish is what God wants.

Prosperity preachers like to twist and misuse this text to mislead you into thinking that life is all about you. If you pray rightly or think rightly or speak rightly or even give rightly then you can have what YOU want; your best life now. Can you see how that verse can be misused? All I can do is roll my eyes at those preachers and pray that they may see the TRUE light.

Abiding in Jesus is intimate fellowship with him; learning God’s will. No magical formula. Just Jesus.

Abide with HIM and know HIM. Then and only then will you have your heart’s desire.

The Pastor -|—

Holy Thursday ~ Maundy Thursday

[34] A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. [35] By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35 ESV)

[12] “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. [13] Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. [14] You are my friends if you do what I command you. (John 15:12-14 ESV)

“Maundy” comes from the Latin word that means “commandment”. And the text we traditionally look at is John 13:34-35 but John 15 12-14 is a great followup and explanation of what this love looks like. So I offer these reflection points as you enter this Triduum, “The Three Days” (Maundy Thursday – Easter Vigil) and look forward to Easter:

(1) Jesus FREELY laid down his life for you. He wasn’t forced.

(2) Jesus calls you friend, not servant, since he has made know to you what the Father has made known to him.

(3) Laying down your life may not mean a physical death for someone but rather humbly serving one another (Washing their feet; see John 13:1-20)

(4) Laying down your life for someone should never feel coerced; if it does then you’re really not laying your life down for them.

(5) If you believe that Jesus laid his life down for you then laying your life down for someone else will be a joy.

(6) If the truly value the Life you have through faith in Jesus, then laying your life down in this life is not a loss but rather a gain.

(7) And as I have written about before, if you truly love Jesus, then following the commandment to love one another is done joyfully and not begrudgingly.

Reflect on these points.
Read these texts over and over.
Give thanks to God that Jesus gave his life for you.
And then go out and joyfully give your life for someone else.

Praise be to God!

Holy God, thank you for Jesus and I praise you that he laid his life down for me, a sinner, that I may have Life eternal. Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Hate Your Life (John 14:15 and 15:12-15)

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” [John 14:15]

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.” [John 15:12-14]

Yesterday was a John 14 kind of day (see “Love and Obedience” from March 24) but today is a John 15 kind of a day.

Yesterday I was struck by John 14:15 that talks about loving Jesus and keeping his commandments; that obedience is an act of love, not an act of duty or something to avoid punishment. We obey Jesus because we love Jesus and we want to please him; not in order to get something in return but because he has already given us something: Eternal life through faith in him.

Now today…

Jesus gives the commandment (which, if you love Jesus, you will be pleased to receive) to love one another as He has loved you. Then Jesus goes on to define the ultimate display of love. Are you ready for this?
Laying down your life for your friends.

Then Jesus goes on to say that you are his friend if you do what he commands. So therefore if you love Jesus you will not only freely and joyfully obey him but you will lay down your life for him. In essence, you will “hate your life in this world” (John 12:25)

WHAT?!?

John Piper, from his Solid Joys devotional, “How to Hate Your Life” says this:
It means, at least, that you don’t take much thought for your life in this world. In other words, it just doesn’t matter much what happens to your life in this world.

If men speak well of you, it doesn’t matter much.
If they hate you, it doesn’t matter much.
If you have a lot of things, I doesn’t matter much.
If you have little, it doesn’t matter much.
If you are persecuted or lied about, it doesn’t matter much.
If you are famous or unheard of, it doesn’t matter much.
If you are dead, these things just don’t matter much.

But it’s even more radical. There are some choices to be made here, not just passive experiences. Jesus goes on to say, “If anyone serves me, let him follow me.” Where to? He is moving into Gethsemane and toward the cross.

To love Jesus is to die to this world and cling to the eternal life you have in him. If you are truly clinging to the hope of the resurrection, then what happens in this life really matters very little; for this world can not take away that which God gives through Jesus Christ. But if you are “loving” this life; clinging to it, then you are not looking to Jesus and therefore not loving Jesus.

But if you want a more vivid picture, then imagine this:
Clinging to this life/world rather than Jesus (loving him) is like hanging over a fiery pit and clinging to nothing but a small thread. And you don’t need me to tell you what’s going to happen eventually.

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

Will you lay down your life for Jesus?
He already laid down his life for you.

Awesome, amazing and mighty God; You loved us first. You love us even though we are sinners. You love us even though we are disobedient. You love us even though we seek this life. Turn our hearts towards You that we may see Your love through the cross of Christ. In Jesus name, Amen

The Pastor -|—

Valentine’s Day Everyday

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. [John 15:13]

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Now with that off my chest allow me to roll into my Valentine’s Day rant (if that is the right word)…

You see, I have a love/hate relationship with this day. It’s not because I am single (I’ve been happily married for over 10 1/2 years to an amazing woman/Valentine). The reason for my feelings about this day is this:

Why is there only one day out of the year where people are encouraged to go the extra mile for the one they love?

It seems to me that if you love a person, they would be your Valentine 365/366 days a year. It would seem to me that flowers and chocolates and candle light dinners would be the norm throughout the year. It would make sense to surprise that special someone with a random card on let’s say April 11 or June 4 or August 23, etc (just random days by the way). Why only on February 14?

And I can almost hear the comments out there:

He’s just a cheapskate or too lazy to do anything today.

I can understand that sentiment but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The fact remains, I love my wife; so much so that I would like to think that I would die for her. And therefore I want her to know that everyday of the year, not just one day where I go overboard with various signs and acts of love.

In much the same way (and more), Jesus’ love for you is an everyday, 24/7, 365/366 day a year thing. It’s not something that Jesus just shows on high holidays like Easter or Christmas. But rather Jesus goes out of his way to show this love in amazing ways throughout the year and throughout your days.

If love is such a wonderful thing (and it is) it deserves to be expressed all the time. And in case your wondering how my wife feels about this attitude, well, we’re in the same boat. She tells me, wait until after Valentine’s Day to get me flowers because they will be cheaper then. What husband doesn’t want to hear that 🙂

And I’m sure the chocolate candy industry or Hallmark or florists are not going to like a post like this post (at first) but I am not saying to boycott them today but rather use them throughout the year to express your love to your valentine everyday.

Go out of your way to show the love of Christ every single day. Go out of your way to proclaim the Good News of the resurrection and the hope of everlasting life. Go out of your way to show how much you love people. Jesus did.

So happy Valentine’s Day today, tomorrow, and the next day and the next day and the next day, etc, etc, etc…

May the love of God through Jesus Christ fill you will all hope and peace for the New Life to come. Have a wonderful and blessed day.

Praise be to God!

The Pastor -|—