Day 23 - A New Command - Love One Another

Day  23 - A New Command - Love One Another

Written By: Pat Hardin

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”  John 15:12-15 (ESV)
Jesus teaches His disciples about love and true friendship, based on the idea of sacrificing ourselves for someone else. He goes on to say that friendship is strengthened when it is proven through obedience. With this type of love and friendship comes intimate knowledge and oneness. We are one with each other, one with the saints of old, and one with the triune God as we practice this type of Christian love.
This teaching follows his explanation of Himself as the “true vine” (v.1) that we are to be branches from, and that the fruit produced by our lives gives evidence of how well we have abided in Him. When we practice true friendship and brotherly love, we experience “joy” (v.11) and so does Jesus! In verse 8 we read that the “Father is glorified” when we abide in Him and demonstrate His love in our lives. I learned an old song back in the 1970’s that said, “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.” Do you think that is true of the church today? Do people outside the faith consider us loving?

You may wonder why I am always asking people to serve, to join a group, or to get involved in the life of the church family. Maybe it is helping us do some work at the building, bringing someone a meal, or urging you to attend a membership gathering. Or, perhaps all of the above.

I don’t ask you to get involved in the church for any reason except this, I love you. I know from first-hand experience that to be in a group is to be surrounded by love. To serve together with others on a team regularly is to share love with our church family…..together. To help out by working on the property or bringing a meal is simply a way to express the love we feel by meeting the needs of others. I love Jesus because He loved me first. I love you because He loved me first. I want to love others, even those I have not met yet, because Jesus loved me first. I also know the incredible sense of contentment that comes from loving others and serving together with others. It is amazing when God’s people unite in love and serve together to glorify God! Will you join me in expressing the love of Jesus to others by practicing community and service with other family members here at the Grove? I hope and pray you will.

When I first started following Jesus, I went to church on Sunday morning and felt the love of the people around me when they spoke to me and welcomed me. About 3 months later, I was invited to join a team of adults that serve in the student ministry and my life has never been the same. I found a sense of purpose that led me to teach a Sunday School class, and eventually that purpose turned into a calling as God led me into student ministry here at the Grove over 30 years later. Although the journey has not always been easy, the love of God’s people around me has helped me thrive. I want everybody to experience God’s love, purpose, and calling, just as I have here at the Grove. This is why I invite people every week to join a team or a group. I want everyone to experience the unifying love of Jesus in their life and in their church, so we glorify God together.
Sign up today on the app for a serve team. Ask God to show you an area of ministry that best uses your abilities and then step out and volunteer. Prayerfully consider signing up on the app for our next membership gathering, which will be held in Walnut Grove on February 5th at 5:30 pm.

Pray and ask God to give you wisdom by showing you an area to serve in at the Grove. Speak to Him about becoming a covenant family member of Church at the Grove.

Heavenly Father, please give me the wisdom and courage to know what you are calling me to do, and then give me the fortitude to follow through and do it. Help me discern how I can share the love of Jesus with other members of the Grove family, and use us to reach out to those outside the faith in a united effort to share your love with them. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.