ODJ: true love

August 16, 2013 

READ: John 14:15-31 

If you really loved Me, you would be happy that I am going to the Father (v.28).

A 13 year old girl stole her brother’s car and drove 800 miles to meet a 12 year old boy she met online. With romance on her mind, she stole her mother’s bank card, slipped out of her bedroom window, and left her home. Police finally apprehended her about 50 miles away where the boy lived.
The girl was searching for love—something we’re all seeking. Jesus told his disciples about true love. During the Last Supper, He said to them: “If you really loved Me, you would be happy that I am going to the Father” (John 14:28). What a difficult thing for the disciples to digest. Their lives consisted of following Jesus both spiritually and physically. Yet Jesus informed them that love is selfless. It wants what is best for the other person, even when that means letting go.

Jesus also said that those who accepted and obeyed His commands were the ones who loved Him, and that He would love them and reveal Himself “to each of them” (v.21). His words show us that loving relationships are reciprocal—not one-sided. Both parties invest in each other.

Finally, Jesus proclaimed: “I will do what the Father requires of Me, so that the world will know I love the Father” (v.31). God required Jesus to take all our sin on Himself during His crucifixion (Isaiah 53:6). Jesus humbly submitted to the Father’s will. When we submit to each other, we model Christ’s humility; and where humility exists, love can grow.

Today, as you grow in love, “may you have the power to understand . . . how wide, how long, how high and how deep [God’s] love is. May you experience the love of Christ” (Ephesians 3:18-19). —Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Read 1 John 4:19 to learn about the foundation of our love for others. Look up 1 John 2:15 for a warning about love. 
Why do we sometimes invest in relationships that do not reflect the true nature of biblical love? How might you share God’s love with someone this week?