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Summary: This sermon is best for family reunion.

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Theme: LOVE ONE ANOTHER

Text: John 15: 12

Intro.

A.Strong love for families is one of the most wonderful traits of Filipinos. The bond of family relationship is so strong in our culture. No wonder Filipinos tend to live with their immediate and extended families in one location where they could often see and communicate each other. Another proof of our strong family relationship is our fond of holding family or clan reunion. You don’t do this reunion tonight if you have hated each other. Therefore it’s your love to each other that makes you come together tonight as one family.

B.However, because we’re all imperfect humans and in some way commit mistakes, it would be possible that some of you are holding grudges against each other. If you were in that condition now, I’d like to advise you to unburden yourself this evening. It serves no good to you. Even how reasonable your anger be, bitterness will not make you a better person. Make yourself totally free to love, and free to enjoy the love and presence of your family members.

C.You chose “Love One another” as your theme for this reunion. It’s very wonderful and relevant to our season. We still feel the spirit of Christmas, isn’t it? A time that we remember the “Great Love of God” to us. He sent to us the Savior. We ought to be thankful, to be happy, and we ought to love one another as the Scripture commands us.

T.S. In the passage that I read, we find a command of Christ to us to “love one another.” This is so familiar. But, I don’t know about your understanding on this. Tonight, I want to give you the reasons and the kind of love that God expects us to exercise.

1.THE REASONS:

a)THE OPPORTUNITY TO LOVE IS SHORT.

Life, as told in the Scripture, is like a vapor, a dream, and a flower. These are imageries that indicate the shortness of life. Days are so fleeting; your life will soon go away without notice. What does this truth implies? It implies that each of us have only a very short time and opportunity to enjoy and experience the joy of loving and being loved. Our being together here on earth is so time-limited. You don’t know when you depart from this life. You don’t know the time when your mother, your father, siblings, relatives pass away. So I think, we don’t have to waste our time on selfishness, envy, bitterness, and hypocrisy.

2005 will end tonight. I think it’s wonderful to leave behind the hurts, the bitterness that we have of this year and start living free. If there needs to ask for forgiveness, the time is now! If there needs for reconciliation, do it now! The opportunity is short. It’s so funny and a sort of foolishness when you seek reconciliation with someone who is dead.

Another thing is extending support as expression of love. It’s so impractical when you wait someone dies to extend practical helps and supports. If we are to express our love, it is now! We don’t know the number our days. Life is short. Our lifetime here on earth is our opportunity to show our love to our loved ones.

2006 will start about an hour from now. Praise the Lord. He gives us one more year. What do you plan to do with your life of this brand new year that God would give you? I hope it will include your theme tonight: to love one another.

b)THE GREATEST PROOF OF LOVE TO GOD.

Our love to God is the greatest motive behind our love with each other. The love of God is the strong bond of our relationship.

“He who does not love his brother,” John says, “does not have God.” Only those who are out of relationship/fellowship with God are supposed to be unloving people.

The question that I would like to ask you tonight is this: “Do you have God in your life?” If yes, then you are supposed to be a loving, kindhearted, generous people to your family, relatives and others. John further said: “He who says he loves God but hates his brother is a liar and he still lives in darkness.”

Is anyone here ungodly? You have the right to be grim, to be onion-skinned, to be the worst person you want. But, warning: you won’t enjoy your lifetime existence, you won’t be happy. The highest happiness achieved is when you feel you are deeply loved –loved by God and by other people. This means that you must have a good relationship with God and with other people. This is possible of course when you allow God to fill you with His love through Jesus Christ His Son and express it to other people.

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