9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
These words of Jesus are simply wonderful. Words of love and joy and sacrifice that reflect the great love of our heavenly Father. I want to hold on to these words on days when I feel fractured and broken by hurtful words or difficult circumstances. Times when we wonder why we are here and who could possibly love us, or when we feel hemmed in by our limitations, may we read these words and be reassured. God loves you. God loves me. Believe it and remain in God’s love.
When we know it, we can live it. Then keeping God’s commands becomes not a difficult task but a joyful response to God. The joy of the Lord will be in us, and our joy will be complete. Come back to these words on sad or difficult days, to be re-energized for love and service, in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Dear God, help me keep your commands, not from fear of retribution, but out of love. I can scarcely imagine the depth of your love, enough to send your only son, Jesus, to teach me and ultimately to die for me. He makes me whole. Let my response be one of joy and service, to the glory of his name. Amen.