Summary: Jesus want's up to be prepared vertically and horizontally, to live right with God and with man!
Love, It's Not An Option! by Steve Keeler
Scripture John 15:9-17
If you knew your death was coming soon what would
you say to those you love? Jesus spoke to His followers
not long before He was to be killed on the cross. This
was His farewell speech to the disciples.
John 15:9-17 "Just as the Father has loved Me, I have
also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My
commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have
kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.
These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may
be in you, and that your joy may be made full. This is My
commandment, that you love one another, just as I have
loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one
lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you
do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves,
for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but
I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard
from My Father I have made known to you. You did not
choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you
would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain,
so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He
may give to you. This I command you, that you love one
Jesus is getting them prepared vertically and
horizontally, shaping them up to live right with God and
with man before He leaves this world.
He's talking about abiding in the Vine and loving one
another. He is putting supreme importance and weight to
those two things. In Matthew 22 Jesus is asked what the
greatest commandment is. Jesus responds that it is to
love God and the second is like it, love your neighbor as
yourself on these two hang the whole Law.
Today, we focus on the second part of the greatest
Jesus is serious about our loving one another. Look at
what John 15:17 says, "This I command you, that you
love one another."
It is not an option! 1 John 4:21 says, "And this
commandment we have from Him, that the one who
loves God should love his brother also"
If you choose to be a follower of Jesus loving each other
is not an option. It's a commandment. It's not just any
commandment but sums up the last six of the Law of
We need to remind each other in the halls here when we
pass someone say, "I'm commanded to love you." Then
say, "You're commanded to love me."
Jesus is serious about us loving one another because it
shows we know God! 1 John 4:8 says, "The one who
does not love does not know God, for God is love."
You can't say you know God and refuse to love others.
It's a sign you know Him and know Him by experience.
Jesus is serious about our loving one another because it
reveals whether or not God lives in us. Does God live in
you? He does if you love others. 1 John 4:11 says,
"Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one
Love is the distinguishing mark of the child of God. It is
also the distinguishing mark of the church, the body of
Christ should reflect the love of God!
If I haven't mad it clear enough, let me clear it up. Christ
demands that the single driving force in your life be love.
All other things, no matter how important you may think
they are, they are secondary. Love is the sign of true
discipleship, that shows Christ lives in you.
Listen to 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 "If I speak with the
tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I
have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I
have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all
knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove
mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I
give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I
surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it
profits me nothing."
There are simply no substitutes for genuine love. Love
can't be replaced by good preaching or singing ability or
the ability to have great faith. Genuine love for others
can't be substituted with money. You can't put a price
tag on love. A church can survive without a huge budget
but it can't survive without love. It might keep its doors
open but the spiritual life is gone.
So, how are we supposed to love others? Jesus says