First Sunday in Lent – Wednesday

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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” (John 15:12).  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” (v. 13).  He loved His own unto death; He calls them His “friends.”  And He says to His disciples, and He says to us: “Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you” (v. 14), if ye love one another.  Should not Jesus’ friendship constrain us to love one another?  And to us, His disciples, Jesus says: “Henceforth I call you not servants, for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth” (v. 15a),

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” (v. 15b). Through His Word, Jesus 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 ordained 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” (v. 16). This is nothing but His grace.  Even as Jesus 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 are to 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 (v. 17).

 PRAYER – Lord God, dear Heavenly Father, bestow on me, a poor sinner, I implore Thee, the daily 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, continue to give me the needed blessing of Thy Holy Spirit, working 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, st. 1 and 3; TLH)

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