Summary: We are not left to dance the dance of life alone. Christ Jesus has given us the Holy Spirit to help us show our love for Him by following His teachings.
John 14: 23 – 39 If You Love Me
Intro: You hear them all the time. Expressions like: “Luv ya man.” --- “I just love chocolate cake.” --- “I love you hair!” --- When was the last time someone told you that they loved you? Did you believe them? Why or why not? How do you know when someone REALLY loves you?
I. Love today has become only a word. It is a word that is often spoken and rarely demonstrated. Our society has confused love with sex. We are careless with the way we use that word.
A. What is the state of the world in which you live? --- Who do you love? Why do you love them? - Verse 23 – “IF anyone loves me . .” Do you love Christ? How do you love Him?
B. “he will obey my teaching.” – Loving Christ involved more than Sunday Christianity, singing in the choir, serving on a committee, the Session or as a Deacon. Loving Jesus means that His will not mine must be done. Sometimes, loving Christ involves a willingness to change.
C. The phone rang. Jill picked it up to hear the feeble voice on the other end say, “Is this St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church?” Jill thought to herself, “No. I don’t have time for this.” The lady continued, “I live alone and am confined to a wheelchair. My children live in another state and I get so lonely I just can’t stand it. I’m not able to get to church. Could you just talk to me a little while?” – Suddenly, Jill felt a bit embarrassed. There was a long moment of silence as she looked around her house. It wasn’t that dirty or messy. She had planned to meet a friend for lunch. . . Returning to the conversation Jill said, “I am glad you got the wrong number. I would very much like to get to know you. Please give me your name and address and I will be there within the hour with makings for lunch and we can get to know each other.” ---
II. That’s an example of the love of Christ: Setting aside self, changing directions, reaching out to others. --- YOU can do this!
A. Have you ever watched the TV program “Dancing With The Stars.” They find celebrities who will come on TV and do ballroom and Latin dances. --- The “stars” are not alone; but, are provided an expert to work with them, show them the steps and dance along with them.
B. Verse 26 – “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (Counselor = parakleetos = para means beside / Kaleoo means I call / therefore a counselor is “someone called along side.” Advocate, Helper, Comforter)
C. Just like the stars on “Dancing With The Stars,” we are not left to dance the dance of life. We have a coach / a helper to dance along with us showing the steps and enabling us.
III. Because we have this helper, we need not fear. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
A. We all have fears. What do you fear? Heights, small spaces, people, growing old, loosing control, change. Where does our fear come from?
B. The old hymn, “Amazing Grace” says, “Twas grace that taught my heart to fear and grace my fears relieved.” --- I John 4: 18 says, “Perfect love casts out fear.”
C. When your heart is filled with love of God, you don’t have to look in the Book of Order to decide what to do. No one has to look over your shoulder to make sure you do the right thing. You do it for one reason alone. You do it because you love Jesus and you want to please him in any way you can. The work of the Lord happens on earth because He has captured our hearts with His love.
Conclu: An old Scottish woman went from home to home across the countryside selling thread, buttons, and shoestrings. When she came to an unmarked crossroad, she would toss a stick into the air and go in the direction the stick pointed when it landed. One day, however, she was seen tossing the stick up several times. “Why do you toss the stick more than once?” Someone asked. “Because,” replied the woman, “It keeps pointing to the left, and I want to take the road on the right.” --- How long do we persist in throwing our spiritual stick in the air because it points in a direction we do not want to go? (Illustration from Listening Anew by Ken Gehreis - Sermon Central)