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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

another."

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

commandment.

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

God.

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

another."

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

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