Lessons Of A Lifetime

No Greater Love
No Greater Hatred
sunday march 5, 2023

Scripture To Consider:
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.”

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another.”

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the Word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you. If they kept My words, they will keep yours also.”

“But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He [or she] who hates Me hates My Father also.”

“If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’ But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.”     John 15.12-27

Something To Consider:
As believers in Jesus we are in this world but we are no longer of this world. As believers in Jesus we have experienced the greatest love in the entire world as a result of Jesus Christ’s willingly loving us even unto His horrible death upon a cross. And by our believing in Him and in His teachings, along with keeping His commands, we gain the title of His friend.

Solomon, who was considered the wisest man alive at his time in history, wrote in Proverbs 18.24; “A man that has friends must show Himself friendly. And there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” I believe he was referring to God! And yet, Jesus declared; “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.”

Therefore, we must ask ourselves, are we doing or observing all things Jesus has commanded? Are we keeping His commandments? Are we loving the brothers and sisters of like faith within the realm of true biblical Christianity? Are we willing to lay down our lives for those of like-minded faith in Christ?

Something Else To Consider:
As true believers in Jesus we will also experience the greatest hatred from those who do not believe in Jesus, and from those who will eventually fall away from the faith by their thinking Jesus is delaying His return. The world has a natural tendency to resist the joy, peace, and contentment that we as believers possess. But do we as true believers truly appreciate these biblical blessings?

The world experiences the guilt of their sin because of the light of God’s Word in us. Therefore, their hatred is kindled toward us as believers, as if against Christ and as if without a real cause. We have been warned in advance by Jesus!

And how are we to respond to the hatred toward us as true believers? Trust me when I say I am confounded by that question. The more abounding lawlessness that is unleashed in our society, the more I am confounded by that question!

On one hand, I want to exemplify the love of Christ toward those who hate me without a cause, and to that end I must by faith attend to doing just that. On the other hand, when that hatred turns to violence against others of whom I am responsible for, at that moment, I personally must draw a line! Have you made your decision as to what you would do? Now is the time to decide!

Something More To Consider:
Three times in the Psalms David wrote of his enemies hating him without a cause. There is no greater hatred than being hated without a real cause. Jesus experienced this kind of evil hatred and in our Scripture to consider He is now warning all true believers that they too will experience the same kind of hatred without a cause.

And yet, there is no greater love than being loved without a reason or cause, other than for love’s sake itself. And that is what Christ has accomplished and exemplified for us in His atoning death upon an old rugged cross at Calvary. As true believers in Christ and in His in advance warnings, we understand what this world, Satan, and those under his influence are attempting to do to us. Do we therefore, know and understand what it is that Jesus did for us at Calvary?

According to Jesus, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world [any longer as true believers in Jesus], but I chose you out of this world, therefore the world hates you.” We have been personally chosen by Jesus to experience the forgiveness of our sin and to enjoy all of eternity with Him through that forgiveness of our sin.

A Few Final Words:
Therefore, as true believers in Jesus, we experience both the no greater love of Jesus, and the no greater hatred of the world! And yet, we are not forsaken by Christ or our heavenly Father, if we indeed abide in Him and His Word abides in us! Is that the case as we approach the end of this evil age?

No greater love in all the world has ever been demonstrated than that which Jesus of Nazareth demonstrated for us all upon an old rugged cross, on a lonely hill called Calvary. And according to Jesus, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”

Our Father in heaven, how excellent is Your name in all the earth. How marvelous is Your greater love for all those in the earth. Thank You for what You allowed Jesus to do for us. In Him Always, Amen!

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