Summary: Love one another unconditionally

Agape One Another

John 15:9-17

If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it.

If God had a wallet, your photo would be in it.

God sends you flowers every spring, and a sunrise every morning.

Whenever you want to talk, God will listen.

God could live anywhere in the universe, but chose your heart.

What about the gift God sent you in Bethlehem; not to mention that day at Calvary?

Face it! God is crazy about you.

And remember:

God answers Knee Mail.

In English we “love” many things

We love our neighbors

We love our enemies

We love our children, and our pets

We love spaghetti and steak

We love our vehicles

We love to dance

We love to drink coffee early in the morning

And, we can go on and on

This can confuse us when we think about the New Testament

In the Greek, there are three words that are all translated “love”

Eros = physical love = erotic

Philae = love for a brother = Philadelphia = City of Brotherly Love

Agape = unconditional love = God-kind of love

In this passage, Jesus uses various forms of the Greek word “Agape”

Let us read the passage again, using the Greek word, Agape, for the English word love

That sounded foreign to us

Let us change the word Agape for the translation “unconditional love”

“As the Father has loved me unconditionally, I also have loved you unconditionally. Abide in my unconditional love.”

“If you keep my commandments you will abide in my unconditional love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His unconditional love.”

“This is my commandment, that you love one another unconditionally just as I have loved you unconditionally”

“These things I command you, that you love one another unconditionally”

Wow! That makes it pretty clear

We are commanded to love each other unconditionally

He says, “You are my friends when you do what I have commanded you to do”

And he commands us to love each other unconditionally

Unconditionally . . .

Most of us do not even love our spouses of many years unconditionally

As a counselor, I see that a lot

I cannot love him/her because they drop their dirty clothes on the floor

Or cannot cook

Or will not wash dishes

Or some equally inane problem

Admittedly, some problems go well beyond these

Adultery, drugs, abuse, etc

Those are subjects for another time

The major problems aside, when we go into a marriage, job, relationship, team, church, etc. with conditions to be met before love can be given

We are not obeying the Master’s commandment to love each other without conditions or unconditionally

Does not mean that you cannot discuss, communicate and express your desires or opinions

Neither does it mean you have to be “best friends” or hang out with folks that have differences in attitude or personalities

But, you cannot hate, hurt people just because they are different

Most of you have loved us unconditionally

In the Methodist church we respect our pastors

Whether past, present or the next one

I urge and beg you to love your pastor and their family unconditionally

Do not compare them to any other

Like any of us, they will have different characteristics than anyone else

Not better or worse, just different

You do not want them comparing you to any other church

Even though you are different than any other church

Not better or worse, just different

Think about it


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