Monday, May 11, 2009

Give it away and you'll be fulfilled John 15:9-17

Looking through the lens of Jesus' Words in John 15 we see heaven's vision of a complete life. A full life is totally given away; offered completely and without reservation for the sake of others. We seek self-fulfillment and Jesus instead says that if we want to be fulfilled just give it all away for the good of others.

So how do we do it? How do we give our lives away?

1) All at once.
Jesus' words, "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." (John 15:13) are reminders for us of what God wants for us and from us. Look around and you'll find Jesus words on memorials and tombstones. Think for a short while and you can no doubt remember soldiers, police offices, firefighters, and others who gave their lives for the sake of others. Jesus meant what he said: to give your life up for another is to love that person totally. He wasn't speaking idly. He was inviting people to give up everything. We honor those who have offered everything for us knowing that their sacrifice is not trivial, most especially in heaven's eyes.

2) Everyday
Jesus' words in John 15:9-12 have been heard at many weddings,

"As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. 12“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."

Jesus invites us to love not for our own sake but for the sake of others. Self-giving love happens in marriages, family, parenthood, church life, and even more relationships. Jesus invites us to give everything away for the sake of others in order that we might experience the fulfillment of his love. We worry about comfort in this life and Jesus is inviting all of us to the fullness of joy in loving and serving him.

4 comments:

LloydS said...

Excellent thoughts, Unlikely. Thanks
from central British Columbia

Nancy Marshall said...

Peace, Unlikely...I'm a bit behind...just caught up on reading your blog. I always enjoy your thoughts, which seem sound and scriptural. How's the baby, new home?... hope all is well.

I want to ask you to re-read the passage John 15:9-17. I understand the sacrificial love emphasis. It's prophetic. It's also wise. I like what you wrote in your blog...

But...

My "problem" with the passage is the two conditional statements. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love (ouch!)
You are my friends IF you do what I command.

Ok now the command is to love each other.(not do his laundry or carry his bag or something oppressive)
but the IF part of the sentence...repeated nonetheless, makes Jesus love conditional on obedience.

Paul would say uhhhhhhh...no...he meant..uhhhhhh grace. But that's not what it says.

How do you reconcile Jesus more conditional law of abiding in his love and Paul's grace?
Nancy

Unlikely said...

Peace to you Nancy,
thanks for your thoughts. I went back and read John 15 again. The context, the night before Jesus died, became more clear to me as I read this time.
As I read these words I heard them not as conditional statements or requirements that must be met first before God can love us; instead I see Jesus words as simple declarations of what really happens when we stray away from God and God's love.
If we stay close, on the way with Jesus, we know the fulness of his love in time. If we choose to stray God remains on the way and we go off the path.
I think that every believer would say that God's love shouldn't be taken for granted; but we humans take it for granted all the time, that's why we still need a savior.
We reject God and God remains faithful. We walk away and choose, to quote the John Ylvisaker song Borning Cry "...to find where deamons dwell." God is gracious and faithful allowing us to turn back again and again.

Unlikely said...

Peace to you to Lloyd and thanks for reading