Summary of the Sermon by Pastor Djohan Handojo, at Bethany International Service, on Sun, 10 Dec 2017.
The Love of Lord
Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things 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 would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My Name He may give to you. This I command you, that you love one another. (John 15:9-17)
Remain in God’s Love
How do we remain in God’s love? Sometimes we do not realize our love for God gets cold but Jesus tells us to remain in God’s love. When we continue to do what God calls us to do, we are remaining in God’s love.
Pride will lead us into destruction. Lucifer had the wrong motive of worship and, as a result, he was cast out of heaven. When we have pride, we are in the center and not God. Fear and worry will dislodge us from remaining in God’s love.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love (1 John 4:18)
In Matthew chapter 6, even the birds in the air do not worry about food and they do not sow or reap, because God cares for them. If God loves us more, you can imagine how much He cares for us. Sometimes unknowingly, we may love the world more than God (remember John 10:10 - The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.)
Love does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. (1 Corinthians 13:5-8)
Christmas is the season to love and care for each other. Take time to forgive each other. There is a story about the famous Mongolian ruler, Genghis Khan. Genghis Khan went hunting and became very thirsty. He sat below a rock. As he sat down pondering over the next source of water, he discovered some water dripping from his head and he decided to get his bowl to collect the water. However, each time he was about to drink, his eagle would fly down and knock it over. When it happened the third time, he decided to kill his eagle. When he was about to drink the water, he saw the water had changed colour. He decided to check it out and discovered a snake had died in the water and that caused the water to be poisonous. His eagle had tried to prevent him from drinking the poisoned water but he killed his favorite eagle in a moment of anger.
Let us not give in to our anger but let us remain the love of God.
Love one another as I love you (John 15:12)
The cross consists of two lines – a vertical and a horizontal line. The vertical line speaks about our relationship with God. The horizontal line is about our relationship with the people around us. God has demonstrated His unconditional love for us. To love on another is a commandment.
Jesus is our Friend when we do what He commands us (John 15:13-14)
Jesus gave His life to die for our sins. He did it willingly because He loves us. Jesus is merciful and compassionate towards us. Although Jesus had the power to kill or destroy those who are against Him, yet He chose to go through the tribulation for our sake. Let the Holy Spirit work in our lives.