Love One Another

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If you got a Bible this morning, I want to invite you to turn to John chapter 13, where we’re going to start a new series together called One Another. As you get there, I’m going to take a drink. John 13. Chapter 13. John. Chapter 13, verses 33 to 35 is where we’re going to start this morning. As as you turn to the to that section of Scripture, let me set up a background for us as to why we’re going through what we’re going through in these days ahead. Um, there’s something I believe about us as as human beings. Um. Sorry. Jared. I’m sorry. As human beings, that God wants to do something incredible through us. And God desires to work and move through us. I believe that God wants us to grow in our walk with him, and God wants us to be able to reach one another as God transforms us from the inside out. And the way that God chooses to move and work among us is that he sees the value of us as individuals. But God created us as individuals so that we could be a blessing to one another in community. God works in the community of his people. In fact, Ephesians four and one verse one says this as a prisoner for the Lord, then I urge you to live in a life worthy of the calling you have you have received. Be completely humble and gentle.

Be patient, bearing with one another, and love making every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace. Knowing that God desires to do something in us and through us, Paul then lists for us just a series of of attitudes that we are to carry, and all of the attitudes described are relational encounters with another individual, humble, gentle, patient, bearing with one another that the spirit of unity in Christ could work among us. When God calls you into the world, he also calls you into a community to reach the world. For Christ. There is power in numbers. God uses a phrase within Scripture to describe this for us as as believers, he commonly uses this this word one another. And if you follow the line of one another throughout scripture, you find it’s used hundreds of time and description of those who are pursuing God. In the New Testament, there’s phrases like serve one another, encourage one another, edify one another, confess to one another, devote to one another, honor one another. Be kind to one another. Forgive one another, submit to one another. Offer hospitality towards one another. Have humility and fellowship with one another. As you study those phrases, maybe the thought would come to mind that our desire to grow in our walk with God is seen by the way we choose to treat one another. Knowing that God wants to do something glorious in you and through you.

I can’t help but think in studying Scripture the way that God desires to do that is in community. God created us for him being lived out in relationship towards one another. And so for the next five weeks, we’re going to study the the bigger phrases of, of the one anothers that are presented in Scripture. Five of the most heavily emphasized one another statements that you see within God’s work as God desires to move us and shape us in a community that’s that’s powerfully working for him. And the first happens in John chapter 13. In verse 33, Jesus is in the middle of a gathering with his disciples. The 12 disciples are are with him in the upper room. And Jesus is spending with him the last six hours of his life just pouring out to them in the final moments. Tara, I don’t have control. Can you click that to me for the next slide? In John chapter 13, Jesus is gathering with the disciples and the most intimate of settings, with the most intimate group of people that he’s done ministry with, living life in community. For the three and a half years that he conducted ministry on this earth, seeing what God could do in and through these individuals, these disciples, these followers of Christ. And Jesus emphasizes in these last six hours of his life some of the most important lessons that they could learn as a body of believers.

And starting in verse 13, Jesus begins to describe his departure from the disciples and the strength that they’re going to be able to find in one another, to not only sustain through this trial, but to carry on what God has called them to in this world. And it says in verse 33, my children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me. And just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now where I am going, you cannot come. And verse 34, he then says, this says as way of encouragement, A new commandment I give to you. Love one another, as I have loved you, so that you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. The final moments of Jesus life. Jesus is reminding his disciples that God’s work will continue to be seen through our love for one another in a secular mentality. Maybe in America today, we could say it like this that God is advertising and branding his gospel through our love for each other. Even today in society, we can relate to the thought of advertising and branding as it correlates to products on sale. You see an image or a slogan slogan and you distinguish it to a product here. Here’s your test for this morning.

Just do it. Is who? Nike, right? Don’t leave home without it. American Express. Melts in your mouth and not in your hand. Eminem’s you guys are good. Every kiss begins with, that’s what’s wrong with your spouse. You guys failed that one. But you, you are in good hands with you. Don’t go home. Tell your wife about K. That is not good. That’s not good, right? Unless you got some jewelry in your hands. That’s. That’s what Jesus wants, right? Jewelry. When you see your love being displayed as products are branded in this world. When love of a believer is being displayed, it should be to such an extent that someone can look at that and recognize that. That’s of God. And it’s beautiful. We are. We are to live. As Jesus is saying in this passage, we are to live in such a way in our lives that when someone meets you, they meet Jesus. And the idea of love correlates with the message of the gospel, which is full of grace. You know, the part that makes us uneasy about advertising and branding in this world is the skepticism that that goes along with it. We ever you ever partook of a product that was displayed to you that when you got it, you realized it wasn’t worth all the beans that they were boasting about in the advertisement. I can think of a few in my life.

Are you ever going to that restaurant that you’ve seen advertised and you step in and you think, if I take a bite of this food, I’m going to die of poisoning? There is skepticism that comes with advertising when it comes to the life of Jesus. There is never going to be any amount of love that we could ever extend that will ever overhype the message of the gospel in which Christ presents to us. Having lived your life on this earth, knowing what God has commanded us to, and there’s not one of us that’s going to get to the end of this and said, you know what I just loved? I loved too much. Because there’s no extent of love that can completely display. And reveal the beauty of God’s grace. Our love is to be displayed in such a way as it relates to Christ, that it creates a hunger for what we have in our relationship with Jesus. And I love the way that God describes it in this passage of Scripture. As he’s ending the last of his his life. And you think of all the one another statements that I’ve listed that we have humility and honor and devotion and forgiveness towards one another. All of those things are umbrella under this idea of love. Jesus simplifies the Christian life through a relational connection word which is all about love as it correlates to the gospel found in Christ.

Following. Love is a simple message for us as believers. But it’s love and grace that gives us the opportunity to see a heart transformed. The Bible says this, that we love him because he first loves us. It’s the power of his love in the midst of our sin that gave us the opportunity to come to Jesus in his grace. That we may know him and his heart may transform our own. The simplicity of this message of love is to say to us as a church family to to measure your success is really only done in one way as a body of believers. We don’t measure success on a on a Sunday morning by the attendance in the chairs. We don’t measure success by the amount of baptisms we have. We don’t measure success by the size of the offering. We don’t measure success by the number of ministries that take place. We measure success by the way we reach the hearts of others. This idea of love that God has given to us. When we say it as a reminder to all of us. We walk out of here on Sunday morning when we have drawn closer to God. It’s a success for us. I should, I should say, when we walk out on Sunday morning, when we have drawn closer to God and we encourage each other closer to him and closer to his family. Success. For us is the way that we display God’s love to each other.

Or to one another. The way that we know God continues his work among us and will continue his work in us and through us, is by our desire to love the way that Jesus describes. And he says in this passage that it is a command for his body of believers to those that belong to Jesus. This isn’t just a thought for your life. This is what Jesus wants. And so Jesus says to us, it’s not just a statement I’m making, guys, but but in these last moments in this upper room, the last six hours, I’m just going to give you one command in all of this. And that is this, that you love others as I have loved you, so you all love one another. The thought of this command says to us something very distinct about the idea of love. And I should say, in our society today, the word love has taken a pounding in the identity of what God desires for us to express in it and through it. Love is a command. Because before love is an emotion, love is a decision of your will. And that’s why it can be commanded. Love is a choice that we make every day. Despite the way that you feel. Love is described for us in the book of First Corinthians 13 three to verse three to verse eight, and it offers nothing as by way of thinking of the individual.

But love is all about giving itself away. And when Jesus comes to this passage, he says it’s a commandment, but not not just any commandment. He says to us, it’s a new commandment. And when Jesus describes it as a new commandment in this passage of Scripture, he’s he’s not saying to us, this is some fresh idea. People have been loving each other for a long period of time. As a matter of fact, when Jesus quotes in Mark chapter 12 the greatest commandments in the Bible, he’s quoting the Old Testament love the Lord your God and love your neighbor. Love isn’t a new command, but what Jesus is saying here by new is that it’s fresh. The idea of this love hasn’t been demonstrated to its full accord. And so when Jesus says, A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, look at the description he gives as I have loved you, so you must love one another. And the disciples are about to realize the full magnitude of this love. As Jesus lays down his life for the well-being of another. It’s new in the sense that the extent for which God’s love had been demonstrated to these disciples had never been experienced that close and connection to God. God had never been flesh, and God had never given his life. And now it’s the example for all of us as believers.

This idea of a new commandment is one that says to us as such that it’s something that we we demonstrate every day that when you love in an individual, it’s not enough just to love them once. But God’s love is new for you every morning. And so our our love in this God who has given his life for us as newness every morning should our love should be continued to be demonstrated as a as a new and fresh love in relationship to one another every day. Just because you love once isn’t enough. God has created you to relationally love one another sacrificially every day. So it’s important for us to ask the question and understanding what is love? I just want to say, as we think about love, one of the things that love is not for us. Love is a love is not a phrase. Can’t we all just get along? Love is important because of the reason we can’t all just get along. We’re not all always going to get along. It’s called being human. But the thought of love is to say this, that I care so much, and I have such a concern about you in your life, that knowing that there are going to be points that we don’t get along. I still choose to love. Because love is a decision of my will. It’s the command through which Christ has called me into this world.

And it is new for you every day, just as it’s new for me in Jesus. Love isn’t about getting along. But love is what’s needed. That we may walk in peace. The Bible says in the book of Romans that we are to seek peace with all men, especially to the household of faith. The Bible tells us to love one another. Do you know the reason Scripture says this to us is because we as people need reminded of it. We’re not always good at this. It’s something that we need to acknowledge readily with in our minds and understanding what God has called us to in the simplicity of this command. But I want to be clear in saying that just because you love doesn’t mean you have to like. And what what I mean is this you can love someone, but you don’t have to agree with them. Matter of fact, that’s what Jesus has loved, demonstrates, doesn’t it? There are plenty of things in my life that I have done that Jesus does not agree with. Five minutes after church, I’ll do another one right. But love. Love by the grace of God through his gospel. And the love that’s been demonstrated in Jesus’s life for me, regardless of who I am and what I’ve done. Let me see the the beauty of who he is and the opportunity I have to embrace him.

Which is why God calls us into this world, to live in such a way that when people meet you, they have the opportunity to meet Jesus. It’s as if to say to you, as a body of believers this morning, knowing that God commands us to love because we are people that don’t always get along. But love is what unites us as one with one another. And God desires to move in us and through us as we’re one. The power of the church is seen as we’re one. Maybe. Maybe it’s suggesting to you that God has given you irregular people in your life to teach you how to love. I mean, anyone can love the lovable. But it’s those who take a stand for Christ to love, those in need, those that are difficult to love, that the the beauty of love is truly demonstrated. And you think in the moments of Jesus’s life in John chapter 13, going into the upper room, he’s about to wash the feet of the very one who is going to to betray him, to be crucified. And he’s about to wash the feet of the disciples who are going to flee with him, and from him in his greatest hour of need. And yet he still chooses to love. And when God calls you to love. The very people that God desires to reach. Are the ones whose hearts are hardened to his truth.

Loving someone. Doesn’t say that we have to agree with each other. In fact, what it says is because I love you so much. And knowing that you may stand in opposition of Jesus. I love you enough to talk to you about the truth of Christ. We don’t have to live in agreement. What God’s called us to do is love. In first John chapter three and verse 16, he gives a description of what this love is. He says this, this is how we know what love is. If you want an example, he says, Jesus Christ lay down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. The greatest extent of love is the total giving of yourself away for one another, or for the well-being of another. When I consider what Jesus says within this passage of Scripture and the honesty of being a believer, I would say to you this morning, I know this. I know this command. And that’s not where the disconnect is in my life. The, the, the connection in my life that I need is the strength to live that way. Huh? How do I carry out this type of love? Where when I come to people, the most important thing that I think in my life is that when they walk away from an encounter with me, that they could see the joy of Jesus.

How? How do I do that? Well, the wonderful part is, is that John is referred to in the Gospel of John as the beloved of the Lord. And not only does he write about the love of God in John chapter 13, he also writes about living out this love in first John. He says in chapter two and verse nine, he says, anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in darkness. They do not know where they are going. The reason I come to church on Sunday. The reason I gather to worship. I don’t attend church on Sunday just to just to be in church. Attend church on Sunday. Because my desire is to connect to Jesus. More than anything, I want to be next to Jesus. I want to worship Jesus. I want to know Jesus. I know how important that connection to Jesus just is. Out of all the things in this world that we might find worthy, I just need to intellectually, emotionally, with all of my heart, remind myself the importance of Jesus. And this is what this passage says. If that’s important to you. Then the way that you treat one another.

The way that you acknowledge one another declares the importance of your understanding that you have in Jesus. If I’m serious about my worship with God, then I’m going to be serious in my gathering together with God. And so it says, it says this for us in this passage. We have to be willing to let go of the hate, to let God work through your heart. In fact, God is saying, if you have heart or hate in your heart against someone, your relationship with God doesn’t grow. Your vertical relationship with God is affected by your horizontal relationship with others. And so if you know that you need to deepen in your love with your walk with God, and you need the strength to grow in that love with your walk with God, that you you may love the way that God has called you into this world. Well, it says to you, do you? Do you hold hate in your heart? Because if there’s hate in your heart, you are blocking off this wonderful God who desires to lavish his goodness within your life, that he may grow you exponentially, continuing in your relationship with him so that you may then continue in in loving in your relationship towards one another if you want to grow. Invest in the growth of another. The way you demonstrate your connection to God is seen in the way you relate to one another.

Has nothing to do with groins. If you want to grow. Let go of hate. Be willing to lay that down before the Lord. To understand that what God desires to do is to speak to your heart when you’re harboring that hate. The disconnecting yourself from the one who desires to grow you in this love verse John 316, it says this. This is how we know what love is. Jesus Christ laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need, but does not have pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech, but with actions and in truth. This is how we can know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence. This passage just emphasizes the need of letting yourself get out of the way and to let God work on you. Not only do you just let go of the hate towards one another, but you see the needs of the world as Jesus sees and needs in the world. And as God calls you into this world to reach others for him, so God grows within your heart. This continued desire to love, because your connection and your relationship with God remains open.

Connecting to others allows me to rest in the presence of the one who empowers me. I love the way that he ends. In verse 19 he says, this is how we can know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence. For us the way that God has designed us to love in this world. For me, when I when I first became a believer, I realized what Jesus said was was to love. Love him sacrificially above everyone else. And there was a as a young believer realizing one day I was going to get married. And that felt weird to me because I felt like I was supposed to love my wife, the future wife, the most, and I’m supposed to love Jesus the most. And how am I going to do that? What’s my wife going to say to that? And but then I began to realize that when it’s when I love Jesus with all that I am, and I lay my my life down to him the way that he desires for me, to that I, I begin to love my wife in a way that I could have never loved her before. God grows my capacity to love through an understanding of his love. It gives me the opportunity to lay down the hate that I that I carry when I when I was a young boy.

I had a heart that was just full of hate. And I felt like as a person, I had such a wonderful excuse to carry hate in my life for my my hate was based on my my circumstances and and the people that I desired to hate. Their hatred was far worse than mine. So it was okay to allow my hate to overpower them and to treat them particular ways, because I wanted to defeat their hate. And so I justified my hate as a solution towards their hate. As if the end justified the means. And then I’m at Jesus. And Christ transformed my heart overnight. For the first time in my life, I found a place where I didn’t have to worry about repaying evil for evil or with evil. Anger for an individual is a hard burden to bear. But I found a place that I would allow me to give up. I found a person whose love and grace had more power to change things with a far more greater degree than the hate my heart could ever do. I found a God so big that he could not only mend the anger in my heart, but he could also be trusted to handle all of those things and all of those people who had wronged me better than I could do in my own strength. And so it gives me an opportunity. To give up.

And give over to a king whose power of love cannot be compared. And I choose now to reflect his goodness in this world. God’s desire. In our lives. Is to work in that way. So you walk in this world and when people wrong us, we put it on our own backs to right those wrongs. And maybe by our own hate. But the goodness of Jesus. Is that he loves you so much that he knows every wrong you’ve ever gone through, every tear you’ve ever shed. And while he’s also a loving God. He’s just got. And he’s got plans for those things that harm you. But not only in that. It’s got the power to change them. To transform them. Whereas the burden of your hate may be able to have an effect on something, but it will be negative. It may change something. But God’s love. Transforms from the inside out. And his powers far greater than any hate that you could carry towards some circumstance that you want to change. And you need to give them the freedom to do that. And the way that you do that. It’s resting in his presence. God won’t work in your hate. God works in your love. God wants to connect you in such a way that his love grows you. But the hate that you carry. Distances you from him in such a way, and he can’t speak to your heart.

The beauty of love for us as people. Is that despite the circumstances. Jesus has given everything for you, and you know how his love just transforms your life. And for the first time in your life, you can come to a place where it’s not measured by what you do. We as people know that we mess up, and we as people know that we need grace. And in this world it is difficult to find. But for the first time in your life, there isn’t enough. There is nothing that Jesus wants from you. He just wants you. He wants you resting in his presence. And as he works within your heart, he wants you to display the goodness of who he is in this world. But it comes by coming to him empty handed that he may grow you. So let go. Let go of hate. Of ill will. What Jesus wants is a new command of unity. And you think about the beauty of what God can do in his church. And the beauty of what God does in us and through us happens as we as people gather together, seeking the victory in Christ, connecting closer to him and through that, just loving one another, closer to Christ. Love for us. Love exists because we’re not always going to get along. But is to say, despite the circumstances that might present to us challenges and our relationships, we’re looking to what God has before us, and that calling is far greater than any tension in our relationship.

And so, regardless of that tension, I just want to say to you, in these moments, I’m choosing by my will to love you, that we may rejoice in what Christ desires to do in us and through us. When we think about these one anothers together. It’s important to start with the thought of love. Because love is the backbone. Through all these things that God desires to do in us and through us as a church body. So here’s the commitment we make. God has given us in this upper room one command with his disciples. That we will look at one another in tension and circumstances, and we will look into this world that God has called us to and know we’re not always going to agree, but we’re going to love you, and we’re going to love you enough to share the truth with you. And we’re going to love you enough to be bold if needed. And we’re going to love you enough to be reserved if needed. And we’re going to love you and enough to spend time with you if needed. And we’re going to love you enough just to be present next to you. And if needed, we’re going to love you the way that Christ has called us to love you. So that when you encounter me, you meet Jesus.

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