“Be good and if you can’t be good, be careful! Make good choices!” My friend Pam gives these words of advice to her teens every time they leave the house. Filled with love, she sends them out hoping for their wisdom and safety.
Our Bible verses today are a portion of Jesus’ parting words to his disciples. These are words of advice and comfort. Jesus knows he will be put to death soon, even though the disciples do not. The words in John 15: 9-17 could almost be a list of the top seven things to remember. They are parting words of love as Jesus sends out his friends.
- You are loved by God. As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. (vs 9)
- Stay in that love. Abide in my love.(vs 9)
- The commandments are to help you stay connected to God. 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.(vs 10)
- Living in Christ will bring you joy. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.(vs 11)
- Love one another as God loves you. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.(vs 12)
- Jesus chooses you & you belong to him. You did not choose me but I chose you. (vs 16)
- You are important. Live out God’s love to you as you use your gifts to serve. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. (vs 16)
Spring is a season of sending out…we send graduates out into the world, brides & grooms into married life, young adults off into new jobs, kids off to camp, and newly confirmed students into a lifelong journey with Christ. These words of Jesus are perfect for sending out because they also root the one being sent in a foundation which cannot be shaken.
You and I are sent out every day with these words too. We are sent from our bedroom to the kitchen or the office or the grocery store, or the baseball field. All are places for us to live in the love which first comes from God. All are places for us to bear fruit of love and care for one another.
- Build blessing into your daily ritual. Rich Melheim has a wonderful video about blessing as parting words at the end of a day. http://www.faithink.com/inkubators/f5_bless.asp
- Send a card, email , text or phone call of encouragement to someone today.