Our scripture this morning is John 15:9-13.

I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Jesus is preparing the disciples for His return to heaven. He says that they are loved “as the Father has loved me”. Then He gives this commandment: “love each other in the same way I have loved you”.

Jesus doesn’t mean just love our own family or group or nationality, He means everyone, everywhere. If we see each other as God’s beloved children, made in His image, all the other designations we use to divide and separate fall away.

Jesus calls us to do as He has done. While we may not be asked to die for our friends, we might. However, Jesus also calls us to lay down our lives in service to God for our friends. If we don’t bring the world to Him, who will?

Gracious God, we ask Your forgiveness for our sins and Your blessing as we go in Your name. May we love one another as Jesus taught and showed us, ready to give our lives for the Gospel. Amen.

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