John 15:9-13 I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
How do you define love? I’m guessing that we all have a fairly different definition of what love means to us. I look at my husband, and I feel loved. I see love in every action and deed that he does for me and for our family. It is not just a word he uses, it is an action word. He does so many things on a daily basis to show his love, and I have no doubt he loves me. Love isn’t always easy, but the old saying is true. It is always worth it! Love doesn’t always look like the movies either. We watch a lot of Hallmark around here, and we have come to find that true love writes it’s own story. That story is always so much better than a scripted TV movie.
Love can be hard at times, but it can also be fun. Just this past week, I arrived home from work, and my dear husband asked me to take a ride with him. He took me out for a steak dinner, and then he took me to pick Catalpa worms. Yes, you read that correctly. I filled my belly with steak, and then went out to a Catalpa orchard to pick worms. Why in the world would we do that? It’s simple. Catalpa worms make excellent fishing bait, and the river is finally going to get closer to a reasonable stage for fishing, and we love to fish. In order to catch fish, you must have the right bait, and how convenient it is that the bait is literally growing on trees! Love comes in all shades and colors. Date nights range from romantic dinners to picking worms. Who knew that love looked like that?
My sweet husband doesn’t always show his love with steak dinners and worm picking. No, he is a man of many talents, and he lets them shine through on a daily basis. He always makes a Yeti cup full of coffee and a big cup of ice water for me to take to work. He starts my car on cold mornings so that it is nice and toasty when I leave for work. He checks to see if I arrived safely. He does a million little things a day that show me he loves me, but most importantly, that man prays with me and for me daily. I am truly blessed to be married to this man.
But I know, there is still a greater love than this. Our love story is one of my all time favorites, but there is one that tops our story. There is a love story that is so much better than steak dinners and picking worms. It is the story of the gospel. It is the story of the love that our Lord and Savior has for each and everyone of us. Jesus laid down His life for you and for me. He took our sins upon Himself so that we may be made right with the Father. He died for our sins. He suffered immensely because we are sinners. He took on the cross for the good, bad, and even the terrible sinners in this world. But he overcame the cross. He was resurrected just as He promised. Jesus set the greatest example of how to show love that has ever been seen by man. He defines true love like no other.
John reminds us to share this great love in chapter 15. I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. We are to love like Jesus loved, y’all. That’s a tough act to follow. Jesus walked this earth as fully man and fully God, and He did it with perfection….no sin…no mistakes…pure perfection. He gave up His life so that we may have eternal life. There is no truer love than this. What does He ask us to do? He simply asks us to love like He loves. I don’t know what kind of situation you are in right now. It may not be full of steak dinners or picking Catalpa worms, but no matter what is going on in your life, you can rest assured that you are loved unconditionally and most abundantly by the giver of life. Jesus loves you. He loves you right now, just as you are. He desires a relationship with you. You don’t have to “get right” first. You don’t have to do anything except accept the gift of salvation. And if you accept that gift, then my friend, you will know true love, and I guarantee you that it is a love like no other love!