Devotion: Monday, May 7, 2018

A Biblical, Christ-filled word to bless your lives. 

Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, reflections from His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verse is from John 15:9–17, where Jesus says,

“THIS IS MY COMMAND, “LOVE EACH OTHER.”

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE?

The Beatles sang the song… ”All you need is Love… everybody… Love is all you need.” So let me ask you this, when Jesus says, “this is my command, Love each other,” is He saying the same thing as the song? Is His view even close to spirit of that melody and verse? Actually, no.  It’s a completely different song altogether. And we need to come to grips with this today. So much of our lives are “out of tune,” because of us, because we fail to understand that God is love, and that life without God is life without love. In John 15, Jesus warns us that living life apart from Him, apart from His love, amounts to nothing in the end.

But people are unconvinced. More and more people are very comfortable with living life based on their new definition of what love is. And they are happy to sing the song, “Love, on my terms, that love is all we need.” For many, the reason that God isn’t part of the equation is that we are the center of the new definition, and that’s all we need. You hear it all the time. Unconditional love is for other people to “love what I do, whatever I do, and if you think what I do is wrong, or even if I know what I’m doing is wrong, love me anyway.” Actually that’s not love. Today you don’t hear people talk about the need for Godly things like “repentance, forgiveness, speaking the truth, or striving for self-disciplined, moral lives” as part of love. There’s an emptiness to such a view of love without God, no matter how fervently we strive for it.

So, if that’s you today, hear Jesus talk about “commands, obedience, loving the Father and not loving the things of this world,” all as a part of His real love in action. For Jesus, the love we need begins and ends with our being right with the Father. And so it is wonderful to hear that “out of true love” God the Father sent His Son to live our life, to die the death our sins deserved, and to grant us His life, His Love, as a gift to receive and share. A life lived in His love for others strives for moral virtue, and honor, and respect, that’s living life on His terms for others.

And here’s even more good news. As we abide in His Love through His Word, our lives will be fruitful, even eternal. And that’s the point of love anyway, being with Him, living in Him, receiving and sharing His love with others forever. The Beatles would have gotten it right if they would have sung, “All you need is His love, His love is all you need.” Let’s make that song one of our favorites today in whatever we do, toward whomever we meet.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, thank you calling me to repentance, for seeing my lack of love, my emptiness without you, so that I can be filled with your love and life forever. Give me strength to avoid the temptation of trying to “go it on my own,” so that I, in your love, can be all you have created and redeemed me to be by grace through faith. AMEN.

 

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