John 13:21-38

John 13:21-38

John 13:35Vintage message from December 30, 2001.

Christianity isn’t about me. Loving Jesus and knowing God’s will isn’t about what I can get out of it. It’s a give and take. It’s about us. God came to a world that was lost and dying and separate from Him, and He so desired for us to be there with Him that He sent this symbol of His love: a Man Who would live for Him and give His life totally and completely to Him and to us, to draw us into that love relationship… We show our love, we show God’s love, we show the full extent of that love, just as Jesus did, when we serve one another. Serve one another where they really have a need, even in the small detail things that burden them, things that are oftentimes overlooked…

Do you know that Jesus loves you today? I don’t care who you are, what you’ve done, you are a disciple that Jesus loves, and it’s okay to say it. Again, it’s not bragging. I know Jesus loves me. I know what Jesus did for me, and it’s okay to say it. I’m a disciple whom Jesus loved…

What we view as bad, what we view as harsh, what we view as betrayal is sometimes completely and totally within the will of God, and those who would hurt us, those who would take advantage of us, are simply and only being used by God to bring glory to Himself… Trust in God even in the hard times. Trust in God even in the bad times. Trust in God even when you don’t want to trust God… When was the last time you, in the midst of trouble thought, “Wow, God might be able to really use this”? The last time I was in turmoil, and I was hurting, you know what I thought? “How in the world, God, could you allow this to happen to me?” Okay, I hate to say it, but that’s who I am!…

And then, telling the other disciples, “Love one another as I have loved you.” It’s no longer about us. It’s no longer about how I know how to love. It’s now about looking a little deeper, looking outside of myself, and looking to a Man Who loved perfectly all the time, even in the midst of struggle…

The problem is, I love my own life more than I love anybody else’s. I love me, and too often, it’s about me. It’s about what can I get out of life? What can I do for me? And you know what? I don’t mind if you guys tag along, and I don’t mind if I share some of what I get with you. I mean, that’s okay. I mean, I’m not a completely, totally, rotten, bad person, but it’s still about me!… And even with the Holy Spirit in us, we still struggle…

No, Jesus wasn’t here saying, “Okay, guys. A new commandment I give to you. Go out and tell everybody else how to live their lives.” He didn’t give the disciples a right to judge, condemn, look down upon. In fact, by loving Judas and then telling them to love as He loved, He, in fact, was saying, “You guys have to love even those that are rotten, even those that do things different than you would do them, even those that are living in sin. You’ve got to love them because I loved them.” Bottom line: it’s not about me. It’s not about you. It’s about a God Who created, and the love that He has for us, and the desire He has to bring us into that love relationship, and He did that through Jesus, and Jesus displays that love completely and fully by once again not responding the way you and I would respond, but responding selflessly, caring about the other more than caring about Himself.

Pastor Dave Elkins

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John 13:1-20