Summary: Let me ask you, “Are you disappointed in the way your relationships are turning out? Do you long to go deeper with those around you? If so, listen and learn from the words of Jesus as He explained the dynamics of love. Our Scripture passage this morning comes from the Gospel of John 15.
For the next 6 weeks, I want to take a close look at relationships. Let’s face it, relationships seldom seem to last or at least be what they once were when a relationship began. I’m not just talking about when two people meet and fall in love. I’m talking about all relationships where we become acquainted with new people in our lives, whether it be in family, at church, at social gatherings or such.
Today, I want to focus on LOVE. It should be a simple topic. If you google the word “Love” in the Bible, you’ll find that it is used 100’s of times. Love is a unique thing. It’s something that you can give away and still have it. Let me start off with a weird illustration to try to stress my point. But before I do, let’s PRAY.
Nobody like the ends of the bread loaf. Or should I say that most don’t like the heal of the loaf of bread. Out of all the arguments that occur in a family, very seldom does anyone ever argue over wanting the heal of the bread.
Relationships are a lot like those heels of bread. Over time, they tend to harden and become stale. Fortunately, the Bible gives us a sure method to keep our connections with others from going stale. If you’re a follower of Jesus, you have the power within you to produce an incredible freshness in the lives of others.
And I can assure you that if you keep Jesus at the forefront of your life, great relationships will form and last. It’s because of the love of Jesus that relationships can be phenomenal. But the price for all of this is not free. The connection to it all is LOVE.
Let me ask you, “Are you disappointed in the way your relationships are turning out? Do you long to go deeper with those around you? If so, listen and learn from the words of Jesus as He explained the dynamics of love. Our Scripture passage this morning comes from the Gospel of John 15.
For those who know me, you know I have to have my coffee every morning. I have my coffeepot programmed to start brewing at 6AM. That way I know that I can get up at 6:03 and have ready-made coffee. One morning I made my way to the kitchen to get that fresh hot cup of coffee to start my day. But there was nothing in the pot.
I checked the program and everything was still set like it should be. I opened the top and saw the grounds and the filter in place but it was then that I realized that I forgot to put water in the pot. No water, no coffee. Now my motto is, I pour in so that something beautiful and delicious will pour out.
Jesus made it very clear in John 15 that there is a huge reservoir of love. But it doesn’t begin with us. Love is found and taught in God. To put it in spiritual language, we must drink from the deep well of the heavenly Father’s supply if we ever hope to pour love into the lives of others. What I’m saying is, “the quality of your relationships with others will always be tied to the quality of your relationship with God.
You wonder why there is so much hate in this world? It’s because people haven’t drank from the well of love that God provides. With His love in us, we can pour out to others that same love. So, Jesus says in verses 9-10, READ. And if you remain in God’s love, hate is hard to find and relationships prosper.
Make a note of that word “remain.” That’s a key word. To remain somewhere is to dwell there continually: a place where you remain is a place where you’re comfortable enough to make yourself at home. Jesus urged us to keep our lives fresh by staying close to Him, by making ourselves at home in His love.
Now you might say, “I read the Bible every day and I pray every day so that I can have that intimate relationship with God.” Now, we might achieve some of the intimacy that Jesus describes here through regular prayer and study of the Scriptures, but this soul-deep intimacy with God comes through more than just a consistent quiet time alone with God. FAITHFUL OBEDIENCE to God’s Spirit and to His Word is the key. And that’s not something that we turn off and on as we please.
Obedience to God is the critical thing that allows us to bear fresh fruit in the lives of other people. In v. 10 Jesus bound tightly love and obedience. He says, “If you keep my commands, you will remain in My love.” If you do what Jesus tells you to do, then you will feel the full force of His affection. It’s not that Jesus will love you more—you’re already completely loved by God—but you will more deeply know and experience that love. And once you know that love that deeply, it will flow freely to others. They will see Jesus in you. They will feel closer to you.