Words of Faith 2-14-17
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command.  I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.  You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.  This is my command: Love each other.
What is the quality of life in the true Vine? There is joy. There also is love.
Love is the relationship that unites us as branches to Christ. Love is also the relationship among those branches that are united to the Vine. This love is not an option. It is the command of the Lord. It is the fruit He brings about in us.
But the love Jesus is talking about is not just any old love. It is not just a general devotion, fondness or warm feeling. The love of God in us is Extreme Love. Jesus defined Extreme Love for us on the cross. Extreme Love causes one to lay down his life for his friends. Jesus calls His disciples to Extreme Love.
We are called to love one another in the same way that He has already loved us. We may be called to literally lay down our lives for another. We are more often called to lay aside our life for another. The Extreme Love of Christ in us will lay aside the agenda or personal needs of the moment in order to love another.
When we are obedient to the Lord in loving, this is a signal that a change has taken place. Such love signals that we are no longer “servants” but “friends” of God. Wow. That is incredible! To be the friend of Jesus is a remarkable joy. Why is this the sign? When we love by the power of the Spirit, we are loving as “freedmen”.
We are no longer like “house servants” or slaves. We actually know the business of the Master because of His Holy Spirit that dwells within us. We actually have the heart of the Lord as we are transformed more and more into His image. We no longer simply obey out of fear of consequence. We are compelled by the very love of Christ in us. The love of Christ sets us free for Extreme Love.
Even though we may recall a conscious decision to follow Jesus, it was Jesus who first loved us and chose us to be His friends. It was Jesus who first appointed us to be in His true vine and to bear fruit that will last. The privilege of being so chosen is that whatever we ask the Father “in the name” of Jesus-- in the will and Spirit of Jesus-- He will give us.
This is the command of the Lord for those in the vine: Love each other. Extremely.
Lord, I thank You for Your Extreme Love for me. I thank You for laying down Your life so that I might be free to love! I rejoice in knowing more of Your heart each day so that I may ask in Your name and love in Your name. Amen.
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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2002, 2017
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.