Today, we are going to take a look at the last of the bible verses that the children have taken a look at recently during their Discipleship Group. On Monday, we took a look at John 14, and how Jesus was keen to point out to those he was speaking to that our love for him should bring us to a place of obedience. And Jesus really wanted them to know this, and take it seriously. Here in John 15, Jesus is again saying the same thing. Have a read of John 15:9-11. And remember from John 14, we haven't been left alone, but God has sent us the Holy Spirit, who lives in us, counsels us, helps us and guides us. The next verse that the children learnt in Discipleship Group is the very next verse in John 15. Verse 12 says "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you."
Jesus previously has spoken of the importance of keeping his commands, and here is his command: "Love each other!" And this must be important, because again in John 15:17, Jesus says "This is my command: Love each other." Another of the verses that the children looked at is similar. It comes in 1 John 4:11 and says "Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." We are to have a Christ like love for one another! And so how are we able to do this?
Let's go back to the reading from John 15, and pick out a couple of things from there that may help us. First of all, Jesus says a number of times in this passage "Remain in ME". If we want to love in a way that Jesus loved, then it is vital that we remain in Him! When I say remain, I mean go deep into Jesus and to surrender our lives to Jesus. When we go deeper in Jesus, his ways will become our ways, and we will start to love as Jesus commanded. Jesus also says "... every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful." God wants to prune us so that we can become more like Jesus! It isn't to hurt us, but to make us more fruitful! When we allow ourselves to be pruned, we will become more like Jesus, and start to live more like Jesus lived, including loving one another. Let me encourage you, let's be people that remain in Jesus, and allow ourselves to be pruned so that we can be more like Jesus!
I would like to take a further look into John 15 tomorrow!