“Greater Love ”
“Greater Love ” By Pastor Joe
“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. You are my friends if you do what I command.” John 15:9-14 NLT
There is so much within these six verses that multiple “Eternal Significance” articles could be written for many weeks. From the very beginning of this memorial day weekend article, my thoughts were taking me in about four different directions; as to the reality of greater love being played out in our lives. Many of us will appreciate a day off tomorrow (Monday) because our Nation will be honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in protecting our freedom. It is worth the time to clarify to all readers the primary purpose of Memorial Day. Patriotic Americans often honoring all who served in our nations military (I am one of those who served) yet this day is meant for special recognition and honoring those who died in service of our nation. Monday at 11:30 I will be addressing a crowd of about a hundred people gathered at the Hawthorne Parkview cemetery. It is an amazing privilege to able to share about men and women who paid the ultimate price to provide us the blessings of liberty and freedom we daily experience. As an American citizen if you’re not already participating in a memorial day service consider coming to honor the fallen with us at Hawthorne. Overseeing the service is a special privilege not only as a veteran but as a minister of the gospel and proclaiming to those gathered the epitome of greater love is found in no one but Jesus.
This greater love we are considering today has connections to my recent articles about reckless love. For each of us in 2023 an important decision is making right choices as it relates to biblical values, moral values, and commonsense values. Obviously everything is rooted in the God of ultimate wisdom, ultimate righteousness and ultimate love. We as his creation have the capability (even those who are not followers of the Lord Jesus) to use common sense to have good morals and hopefully one day even come to the realization that Jesus Christ is the only hope for this life and the life to come. God allows things in the natural to help us understand what his Son did for us on the cross. Memorial Day weekend is a great example, where we gather around gravestones and honor those who lived out ultimate love what the Bible calls greater love. An important thought provoking question asks, “How can I know if I have the capacity to live up to this “greater love” or this ultimate love? For myself the thought is can I live up to the extent of greater love which God expects from those who shepherd the flock. One of the spiritual markers of greater love being active in our life is found in the fact that we put other people’s needs above our own. We don’t always consider our own interest the highest priority, we consider the needs of others and not just your spouse or children, but those around us. If you’re thinking about your own life… take a few minutes this memorial day weekend to consider what you have done to put the needs of others above your own. When is the last time your comfort, your desires your aspirations took second place and you chose to live like Jesus and flow in greater love.