Make Disciples (2)

2022 Church Identity Series  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Love God

John 15:9–13 NIV
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Jesus challenges our understanding of what love truly is. He states that greater love has no one than this, to ay down one’s life for a friend. When we hear this, our initial response is to see this as the paying of a price. Because I love you, I will give up my life for you. In John’s writing, the phrase used here carries a different connotation. The picture here is that of a wiling laying aside of what is yours to take up that which is anothers. The picture is that of war and one putting down their own shield to take up the sword of another.

Suffering and Comfort

2 Corinthians 1:3–7 (NIV)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
In Ancient Greek letters, the introductory greeting is usually followed by a short expression of prayerful concern to thanksgiving to the recipient. Paul often focused on the grace of the Lord that is evident in the lives of his readers, but in this letter, Paul focuses on the comfort of the Lord that he was experiencing in this time of great affliction.
When we love God to the depth that He invites us to, we begin to see that He is primary. We begin to feel and recognize that we truly are His and as a result, His great love for us has sealed us in eternity with Him. These moments that we continue to take breathe in a broken and fallen world are not for us. We remain because of God’s great love for those who are far. Everything that we go through is for their sake, just as everything Christ endured was for our sake.
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