Sixth Sunday of Easter
John 15:9-17 (NRSV)
Christ, the friend and lover
As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 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. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. 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. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.
Today’s scripture reading hits me in the deepest core of my being. I know so many people who live, devoid of hope; sure that nobody truly loves them.
You may be one of those people, or know somebody who is. They really and truly believe that no one loves them and that no one cares. They fear that if they died tomorrow, no one would notice or even show up at their funeral. They feel like they are unworthy of love; they honestly believe that they are too sinful, too broken, and too “bad” to deserve the good things in life.
These people live their lives in the shadows, seeking to stay unto themselves. They have no close friends, no one who has earned their confidence, no one with whom they can have a good cry or share a deep secret.
They know no love, no joy, and no hope. They are devoid of good news.
Isn’t this incredibly sad?
And let me say this, it is not only the outcasts of society who feel this way. Some popular people feel this way. Some rich people feel this way. Some powerful people feel this way.
We may look into their lives and feel like they have everything going for them; but, when they go to bed at night they drench their pillows with their tears wishing for at least one good friend who loves them for who they are and not for what they have…
This is such sad, sad news. If we’re honest, we all know how this feels. It is a part of the human condition that we often feel lonely, sad, or depressed.
But, today I have GOOD NEWS!
There is someone who loves us more than we can ever hope, dream, or imagine. There is someone who knows all of our sin, deepest secrets, and greatest fears and still cares passionately about us. There is someone who has looked into the depth of our hearts, seen the truth, and still determined that we are worth dying for!
His name is JESUS.
Jesus loves us so much that He was willing to die for us. In the soap operas and the fairy tales the hero is always willing to die for his beloved. But, as humans we expect this type of devotion to remain fictional. We don’t believe that someone would actually do the same for us in reality!
But, the truth is, that someone has already died for us! Someone has already proven His great love for us. His name is JESUS.
Let me introduce you to your new best friend. JESUS is fully God and fully man. He lived on the Earth and died on a cross. He died on the cross because he loves you so much that he couldn’t bear the thought of your suffering because of your sin. He couldn’t even think of being separated from you for eternity.
See, sin separates us from God. God loves us, but hates our sin. In our sinfulness, we could never enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. JESUS paved the way for us to enter into eternity with God.
By dying on the cross, Jesus paid the price for our sin. Now, our sin is forgiven and we have been given access to eternity in the City of God.
On a daily basis God is peering into our hearts. What does God see? Well, God either sees the Name of God’s Son—JESUS or God sees only our sin.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want God to see only my sin. Jesus’ love covers the multitude of our sin. Jesus’ blood hides our sin.
That is why it is so important to put all of our faith in Jesus, trusting that His love, joy, and friendship is sufficient to make things right with our Creator.
Look, we can’t do it by ourselves. I’m sure you’ve tried. You may have sought love, joy, and friendship in alcohol bottles, pornography, promiscuous sex, expensive toys (cars, boats, trips), etc. The list goes on and on.
But, at the end of the day, as the sun sets and darkness rises, let me ask you to be honest. Does any of that stuff fill the hole in your heart?
My friend, I already know the answer and so do you. It does not. It will not. It CANNOT.
Nothing fills the hole in our heart but GOD. When we put all of our faith in JESUS the hole is filled. We are flooded with an awareness of the love of God, the joy of knowing Jesus, and the friendship and peace that comes from the Holy Spirit.
As you walk with Jesus, you will grow in love, joy, friendship and peace. Your life will reflect the goodness of God and your friends will want some of what you have too!
As you share your love relationship with God, your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, and friends will learn to put all of their hope in Jesus too!
Before you know it, your “spiritual tree” will be full of the eternal fruit of loved ones who will spend eternity in love with God.
What could be better than this my friend? (I assure you, absolutely nothing!)
You’ve been looking for love in all the wrong places. Today, I recommend JESUS.
Will you put all of your hope in JESUS today?
If so, please pray with me.
Dear God, I know you love me and I love you too. I believe that Jesus died on the cross and that you raised him from the dead! Please forgive all of my sins and fill me with your Holy Spirit. I truly want the love, joy, and peace that friendship with you affords. I want my whole life to declare your praise and glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
If you just prayed that prayer for the first time, today, you are saved! I would be so honored if you would let me know about your decision by clicking “Yes” in the poll located at the top/right of today’s devotional! I am so happy for you! Happy Spiritual Re-Birth-Day!
Next steps: In response to what God did for you just now, let me suggest that you consider telling another Christian so that they can celebrate with you! Ask them to help you find a Bible that is easy for you to understand so that you can learn more about your new-found faith! Ask them to help you find a good Bible believing church where you can make new friends who will walk with you on your new journey! You are already saved; now let God mature you by faith! Congratulations!
Congratulations to the people who have recently put all of their faith in Jesus! We are so excited about your new-found faith in Jesus! You are in our thoughts and prayers!
If you would like to put all of your hope in Jesus today, please visit my blog entitled, “Putting All Your Hope In Jesus” located at
If you have additional questions about how to become a friend and follower of Jesus, please see the devotion entitled, "Come to Jesus"
Pastor Yolanda is now publishing another blog entitled, “A Spoken WORD” in celebration of Holy Hip Hop, Gospel/Christian Rap and Spoken Word. Please check it out @ http://aspokenword.blogspot.com/
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Good News has now added a Prayer Ministry. http://www.kindlejoy.com/groups/goodnews
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From Pastor Yolanda's blog http://aintathatgoodnews.blogspot.com