Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Love: The Foundation of UnityBible portion John 15:8-16
“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. John 15:10
John 15:9-16 portrays love as the foundational principle for unity among believers. John recorded the command for loving as a mandate from Jesus to his followers, urging them to understand that love is not merely a sentiment but is expressed through obedience, self-sacrifice, and a chosen commitment to bear lasting fruit in the service of God.
The organic relationship between the vine and branches is applied as a metaphor to envision an inward unity and a common motivation among the disciples as an expression of their faith. Today’s believers are called to place themselves in the role of disciples to witness the love of God, not as a mere personal blessing, but rather as a common experience. When followers of Jesus live in love and engage in actions demonstrating heartfelt love, the world shall receive it as a blessing channeled through people of God. In Biblical terms, it is “bearing good fruits” that brings glory to God. Love is not just a feeling but is demonstrated through actions and positive outcomes. Abiding in love involves obedience to God’s commandments, reflecting a commitment to a life guided by love and righteousness.
The ultimate expression of love is self-sacrifice (John 15:13), symbolized by laying down one’s life for others. This underlines the depth and selflessness of the love that should characterize relationships among believers. We are chosen to bear lasting fruits, exemplified in our actions of love. The connection between love, fruitful living, and answered prayers is emphasized in verse 16. However, it is a conditional statement demanding our actions to be directed in the spirit of love. It also suggests that our lives, rooted in love, may lead us into a harmonious relationship with God.
When our lives are directed by the spirit of love, that is expressed in John’s gospel as the ultimate action of God (John 3:16), there cannot be an option for discrimination and subordination. The community of disciples should be an egalitarian community. This kind of willingness to accept, understand and participate with one another would result in witnessing the spirit of unity we gain from the triune God.
Heavenly Father, as we reflect on the love that You have for us, we are just awed by how deep it is. Your love captures, shapes, motivates, and moves us. Lord, draw us nearer to you, that we bear much fruit for your kingdom. Let Your love touch the lives of those who we come across in our daily lives. This is a task that you have set out for each one of us, and we accept the mission with the blessing and tutelage of your Spirit. We ask all of this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Thought for the Day
“Am I proof
That You are who you say You are
That grace can really change our heart
Do I live like Your love is true?”
– Sidewalk Prophets
Rev. Dr. Pramod Zachariah
Epiphany MTC, New York