Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man 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. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. This I command you, to love one another. John 15:12-17
February is a month that often is filled with “love.” February is Black History month; and we have many opportunities to read insightful and informative books, watch programs, explore music, all offering to enrich conversation and understanding, while inviting us to love our neighbors as ourselves. If you “love” football, new commercials, and half-time shows, you will want to watch the “Super Bowl” on Feb. 7th. If you honor Presidents you may want to celebrate Lincoln on February 12th and Washington on February 22nd; or just take the “easy” way and observe President’s Day on February 15th. If you “love” someone special you will probably want to remember Feb. 14th, Valentine’s Day!
If you want to consider the pure, holy love of God, you may want to join us on Ash Wednesday, February 17th, and consider the “cost” of forgiveness and salvation which Jesus paid for us.
Consider what Jesus said in the text from John 15:13
Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
If we know Jesus as our Savior and are following him as our Lord, it is because folks have done what Jesus said. 1) Jesus laid down his life to rescue and redeem us from sin and death, and offer us salvation, new life and eternal life. 2) Followers of Jesus have shared his love and witnessed to us in many and varied ways, making it possible for us to come into a life changing relationship with Jesus. 3) Prayer for the lost: followers of Jesus have been praying the price of seeking to reach others since Jesus commissioned us to “make disciples.” 4) Praise and Worship: followers of Jesus have been devoting themselves to “the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” (Acts 2:42) to remain in close fellowship with Jesus Christ, with each other, and empowered by God’s Holy Spirit for ministry. 5) Proclamation,: followers of Jesus have been laying down their lives for others to “let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Loving in truth and faith inviting others to know Jesus and the healing, cleansing flood of his mercy and love which save and transform anyone who believes!
Jesus’ Church chooses to love more than all to offer Jesus to others. Jim Elliot, our martyred brother in Christ said: He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose. (Journals of Jim Elliot)
Each day, let us ‘lay down our life’ in simple, loving ways that help others know Jesus!
Our “celebrations of Love” in February can be used to give away Jesus love! Pray, Praise, and Peg away! Teach everyone we can to love God as God first loved us.
God loves you, and we love you!
Paul and Nancy Wier