Summary: As disciples we are called to love one another, that is a command that is easier to say than actually do, for us to live in a way that the love of God is fully demonstrated requires real effort in our daily lives.
Disciples who Love
Straight to the question: If you could only use one word to describe God what word would you choose?
Would it be Almighty? Omnipotent? Creator?
It’s Valentines Day and the word I am looking for is Love!
The bible tells us simply and clearly that “God is Love.” (1 John 4:8)
Think about everything that he has done for you out of love. Think about all that he has done for all of us out of love! He has done so much for that we could not even begin to list it all!
Let’s look at this verse in context 1 John 4:7-11
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
9 God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and His love is brought to full expression in us.
Our theme for the year is Dynamic Disciples and the focus for our preaching this month is being united into the family of God through Christ.
As disciples we are called to love one another, that is a command that is easier to say than actually do, for us to live in a way that the love of God is fully demonstrated requires real effort in our daily lives.
We were created to express and receive genuine love. The genuine love we desire and long for is the love shown to us by God, through his Son, Jesus Christ.
The love shown to us by Jesus Christ was unconditional love. We are called to also love one another with an unconditional love.
We are also called to share the love of God with those outside the church, those currently outside the family of God, those who are unsaved and heading to a lost eternity without God.
This morning I want us to consider one of the most important passages in the whole of the Bible. Words spoken by Jesus on the night He was to be betrayed.
Words of Jesus that are a command to us, His disciples, a command which, when obeyed, will help shape us into dynamic disciples and effective witnesses to the truth of God’s love. John 13:34-35 says: So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. John 13:34-35
The command to love each other, love one another is repeated by Jesus three times.
He describes this command as a new commandment.
Jesus had already taught the Twelve a lot on the subject of love, but this is the first time He specifically commanded them to love one another.
Jesus had taught them the importance of loving God. In Mark 12:29-31 Jesus said the greatest commandment of all was to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength and a second commandment of equal importance was to “Love your neighbour as yourself”
The Disciples had spent around three and a half years in close contact with Jesus and each other. Yet Jesus still issues this explicit command to them.
Gathered together for the Passover celebration, on the night Jesus would be betrayed and handed over to the Jewish religious authorities.
In chapter 22 of Luke’s Gospel, it tells us that the Disciples were concerned about themselves.
The disciples were arguing over who would be the greatest in Christ’s kingdom.
They were not really demonstrating a lot of love towards one another.
We can at times behave just like those first century disciples, we can focus our attention on things that cause division and disputes.
Let’s be honest, sometimes the hardest people for us to love are other Christians.
Yet even though it can be difficult at times we are commanded to love one another.
We can easily find faults in one another, when we should be striving to forgive each other.
Loving one another may not be the easiest thing God has called us to do, but it is a necessary part of being a dynamic disciple.
The way we love one another is an expression of the way we love God.