Love is the Key
“Jesus replied, `Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.’
“`All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.’
“`You heard me say, `I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.’
“`Come now; let us leave.’” (John 14: 23 – 31 NIV)
Love is the key. Allowing the love of the Father to flow into our lives and through us into the world around us is the essential key to the relationship that makes us one. Note in the brief passage above that Jesus spoke to His disciples at the conclusion of the Last Supper how many times He makes reference to love:
- “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.”
- “My Father will love them.”
- In the negative – “Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching.”
- “If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father.”
- “so that the world may learn that I love the Father.”
Love is the key to obedience. How often we want to make obedience the key to love. We want to prove our love by our obedience. Any lack of obedience in our lives is like a red flag to alert us to an area of our lives where our love has not been perfected. When that red flag pops up it is not our task at that point to screw ourselves up to greater obedience but to come humbly in submission to God, confess the area of weakness, seek His way of change called repentance, and ask for forgiveness in Jesus’ name. God’s forgiveness draws us back into the love relationship that is His ultimate desire for each one of us.
Love is the key to being one. The sending of the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, makes the love relationship between each of us possible. That is why Jesus said we who love Him are glad that He is going to the Father. The coming of the Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to love Jesus and the Father and each other. We become one. The kingdom of God is among us and within us. God the Father comes and lives within each of us. Jesus the Son comes and lives within each of us. The Holy Spirit comes and lives within each of us. We become one.
Love is the key to witnessing to the world. As we are loved by God and return that love to God there is a dynamic of love that cannot help but overflow to the world all about us. We love our neighbors as ourselves. When the love of God is fully expressed in us it must, by its very nature, flow through us to others. First, we love one another thereby fulfilling the last command of Jesus, “This is my command: Love each other.” (John 15: 17 NIV) As the love of God flows through us and brings us to complete unity the world is then able to see God’s love in us: “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17: 22, 23 NIV)
Love is the key.