It was rather fitting that the first sermon of the year was full of the subject “Love”, my One Word for 2017! Our Young Adults pastor did an excellent job preaching on John 15, about “Abiding in Christ”, and was very passionate when he came to the part about love.
Of course, he emphasized how important it is, as Christ-followers, to be into God’s Word–and not just reading it, but letting it “get into” you. This passage is pretty clear about that. Jesus says “if you make yourselves at home with me and my words [scripture] are at home in you”– this is The Message translation, making “dwell” clear with “at home”–if you do that, “you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon.”
These verses talk about having results, or “producing fruit”, so part of that has to do with asking for things according to God’s will revealed in scripture. The reason to have results, is to point to God, so more and more people will know they are loved by Him: “This is how my Father shows who he is”. Jesus says, “When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant.”
And how do we keep that relationship alive (“organic”), and “remain at home” in God’s love? Jesus makes it pretty clear: “If you keep my commands [as revealed in the Bible], you’ll remain intimately at home in my love.” And just a few lines later he says, “This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you.” There are so many fickle “love” declarations around these days, but this one is about loving sacrificially.
Jesus also demonstrates his love in these very verses, by explaining why he’s saying these things: “I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy”.
I didn’t actually make notes on Kenny’s sermon, but these are such wonderful verses, that it’s easy to read them over and come up with LOTS to say!
So go get God’s word into you: John 15:1-17 :)