First Sunday in Lent – Wednesday
These things I command you, that ye love one another. – John 15:17.
The first fruit of a Godly life which Christians, as branches ingrafted in Christ, are to bring forth is mutual love.
In that hour of parting Jesus said to His disciples: “This is my commandment that ye love one another, as I have loved you.” The love of Christ toward His own will move us to love one another. Ought we not to love those whom Jesus loves?
And how has He loved His own! He says: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” He loved them unto death. He calls His own His “friends.” And He says to His disciples, and He says to us: “Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you,” if ye love one another. Should not this constrain us to do so? And to us, His disciples, He says: “Henceforth I call you no longer servants; for a servant knoweth not what his lord doeth.” A servant is to obey implicitly, without knowing his master’s motives, without being taken into his confidence. “But I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.”
Through His Word He has made known unto us the whole counsel of God for our salvation. Indeed, we, His own, are His friends. And He has made us His own, not we ourselves. He says: “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and commanded you that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it you.” It is nothing but His grace.
Even as He laid down His life for us for our salvation, so also, without our seeking, He has chosen and made us His own, His branches, and has given us power to bring forth fruit, abundant fruit. And in gratitude for such grace, we come to our heavenly Father in Jesus’ name, according to His will, confident that He will hear and answer our prayers in His own way and in His own time. Thus we are to bring forth the fruit of loving one another.
“These things I command you, that ye love one another, as I have loved you,” says our dear and only Savior (John 15:12-17).
PRAYER – Lord God, dear Heavenly Father, bestow on me, a poor sinner, I implore Thee, the strength and help to keep loving my brethren. Consider, I pray Thee, that Thy dear Son has chosen me by grace and has made me His own, and has given me the God-pleasing desire so that I can begin to do what pleases Thee, and He calls me His friend. And it is His gracious will that I should love my brethren, whom He loves, even as He first loved me. O Heavenly Father, I pray Thee, in the name of Jesus and at His command, that Thou would give me the continued blessing of Thy Holy Spirit through Thy Word to do my Savior’s will, in gratitude for all that He has done for me. Amen.
“May we Thy precepts, Lord, fulfill,
and do on earth our Father’s will,
as angels do above;
still walk in Christ, the living Way,
with all Thy children and obey,
the law of Christian love.
Spirit of Life, of Love, and Peace,
unite our hearts, our joy increase,
Thy gracious help supply.
To each of us the blessing give,
in Christian fellowship to live,
in joyful hope to die.”
Hymn 412, vv. 1, 3.(TLH)