Read: John 17 ESV
Let’s begin by looking at this beautiful love relationship between Father and Son. In the above scripture it points out the Father’s love for the Son and the Son’s love for the Father. The Son glorifies the Father and the Father glorifies the Son. You see the Father in the Son and the Son in the Father.
So, when John baptizes Jesus we hear the Father say “this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” with such endearment and adoration for His Son. The Father confirms His affirmation, affection and love for His Son before The Son does anything. When the Father looks upon the Son, He sees Himself. Then we see the Son consistently reciprocating that love by only doing what He saw the Father doing, it pleased the Son to obey the Father. This shows the unity and oneness between them. This backdrop of divine love pleased The Father to send His Son and it pleased the Son to lay down His life for us. Jesus willingly & freely laid down His life for a people deserving of the punishment the was rightly ours… This is real love.
Now look at John 13:34-35
Jesus says, A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
The reference to the commandment to Love the Lord your God and to love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus is simply saying look at how I modeled that love and follow it. I loved the Father through obedience and that is how you show love, through obedience.
How did Jesus love?…sacrificially
True love Sacrifices
Jesus made the ultimate love sacrifice & gave His all. Jesus left his place in Heaven for a time and subjected Himself to the world because of love. God was determined that He would not leave us in a state of destitute because of Sin and its effects but would deliver us from ourselves, Himself. So, Jesus came and sacrificed His life so that when we opened our hearts and surrendered our life to Him nothing in this world could separate us from Him.
This is where it gets real for us because while we were, yet sinners Christ died for us….Based on what we have just heard about the precious love of God portrayed & lived out on our behalf, there is only one way for us to respond…and that’s to lovingly surrender our hearts & lives to the One who not only created us but loved us eternally by extending His grace & mercy to us.
In love Christ held nothing back for you…. will you hold nothing back for Him.
So what does Sacrifice look like for us, it looks like complete surrender
Matthew 16:24 tells us what Jesus said to His disciples, He said
If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.
A surrendered life means that no longer I who will live but Christ life is lived through me.
We must surrender our lives to Christ in order to receive the life He died to give us. It all starts with a true heart confession. Confess with your mouth and believe in your heart on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved…Jesus turns no one away who calls on His name.
Now I understand that there are those of us who have surrendered our lives to Christ, and that is wonderful, but we have to be sensitive to our brother or sister who who have not made that decision. That’s why every opportunity we have we must take the time to talk about gift of salvation available to all because it is the most important decision one will have to make in this life.
I am also compelled to say that Christ’s sacrifice is not up for debate; His sacrifice is not hinged on my choice to believe or not. The word tells us that eternity is set in the hearts of everyone (Eccl. 3:11). Christ is who is says He is and He did what He said He would do.
So, the only decision that needs to be discussed is will we open our hearts to God and trust and believe. This world provides so many voices trying to get us to question the Father’s love and Christs’ sacrifice. But the truth is no one compares to the Lord God Almighty.
Now let’s discuss our hearts posture as it relates to sacrifice, because every now and then we have to do a heart check….I know I do. Throughout Jesus time on earth, he repeated over and over that He did nothing on His own accord. He only did what the Father did, and He was pleased to lovingly obey the Father. We have to have the right perspective when it comes to sacrifice.
We don’t sacrifice begrudgingly.
When we truly surrender it becomes an honor to sacrifice our life for the Lord, it becomes an honor to be in the word of God and time in His presence become the core of our being. Our perspective changes from I should spend time with the Lord to I get to spend time with the Lord. Do you see the difference? When we have a true revelation of the Father’s love, we just want to be in His presence and in the word because we know that is the thing that sustains us and give us life and hope and strength when we need it.
John 15:5 says I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
When we are continually abiding in the Lord, we are forever being changed. No time in the presence of the Lord and in His word will ever be lost or not produce good fruit in our lives. We receive lasting sustenance when we abide in His word and rest in His presence moment by moment.
The beauty about sacrificing for the Lord is that it is not be burdensome, it is actually empowering because it shows the Spirit of God at work in our Lives…When we surrender our lives to the Lord we receive a precious gift and that gift is the Holy Spirit and through the Holy Spirit we are empowered to love.
The Holy Spirit empowers us to love
Acts 1:8 – but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
In order to walk out 1 Corinthians 13, we need the Holy Spirit.
God knew that we could not live out the command to love without help. God did not leave us to walk love out alone. As children of God we have access to the Spirit of God, which empowers to be patient and kind, to forgive, to bear with one another…etc.
The Holy Spirit not only empowers us to love but from that love we are enabled to fulfill the Fathers purpose by doing the work that God created us the do before the beginning of time.
True Love fulfills the Father’s purpose
John 17: 4 tells us that Jesus completed the work that the Father sent Him to do. We are placed in the space in time on this timeline of life before the return of Christ. And the Father is calling us to fulfill the work that we are called to do before Christ returns.
In John 21, after Jesus was raised to life again, he appeared before the disciples for a period of time and Jesus had a conversation with Peter…you know Peter the one who denied Him three times when He was taken into custody, but God knew Peters heart and Peters purpose, so He addressed Him, He said to Simon
So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My lambs.” 16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.
So, I say to you Do you love Him? Then go and tend His sheep.
There people in the world that needs to be brought into the family of God and you have the answer and the answer is Jesus. Do you love Him, shepherd His sheep, we have the words of eternal life and there are people waiting for us to sacrifice our time and go out of our way to disciple them, to walk alongside them? It’s not going to be easy, they are not going to come to you pretty, they are going to be broken, hurt and in distress but I ask you again Do you love Him, then if we love Him then we will love those whom God sets before us.
Christ is the hope for all the world, He is the answer to the heart cries of His people. The Harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Lord, send the laborers.
Will you make a decision today?
- Will you accept Christ’s sacrificial love?
- Will you allow the Holy spirit to empower you to demonstrate the God’s love & power wherever, whenever to whomever God places in our path?
- Will you Fulfill the Father’s purpose for your life?
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
~ a daughter of the King