All you need is love! By Roger Helland…My wife and I, together with her brother and sister and their spouses, attended a dinner theater in Calgary. The show was titled, “A Hard Day’s Knight.” It was a talented and engaging comedy-musical based on Camelot—King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, Sir Lancelot, and Merlin the magician.
The show centered on the most common theme in most movies, music, and literature—love! Of course, Sir Lancelot loved Guinevere and Merlin tried to ruin the royal relationship between the King and Queen. The playwright placed the most famous Beatle’s songs effectively within the story line to highlight each scene. Of course, the Beatles wrote many songs about love. I came away reminded, once again, how important love is to make the world go ‘round, because “all you need is love.”
The Bible reveals that God is love (1 John 4:8). That is a profound proposition. But profounder yet, is another proposition. In John 15:9. Jesus announces to his disciples, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” This resides at the heart of spiritual formation and discipleship, for Jesus also said in the previous verse, “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (John 15:8). The key to fruitful discipleship is to remain in Christ’s love through obedience. Jesus goes on to say, “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete (John 15:10-11).
Here’s a question I posed my Bible college students in a class on Spiritual Formation and Discipleship when we discussed this profound passage: “How much love does the Father have for Jesus?” They all answered, “Infinite!” Now think about this.
How much love does Jesus have for us? They all answered, “Infinite!” Wouldn’t you agree? In addition, all good parents offer an impartial though finite love for each of their children. But Christ’s love is impartial and infinite. These are staggering, life transforming truths.
If we take Jesus at his word, then the possibilities for spiritual formation and fruitfulness as his followers are immeasurable and priceless. This secures an inestimable value on each of us as people. This also liberates us from cold self-contempt and catapults us into the vast warmth of God’s acceptance. Because Jesus loves us as the Father loves him, we are free to share that love with others as we join him on mission—what I call a missional spirituality. This is also what Donna calls Radical Love!
Take some time today to reflect on the reality of Christ’s infinite and impartial love for you. Does it provide a rich incentive to obey his commands and enable you to remain (live, stay, lodge) in his love? Does it also provide a rich incentive to express his love to others?
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