I am excited to be here this evening and as I was meditating on the message that God wants to bring to us this evening, God showed me three things.
The first is the undeniable, unquestionable and everlasting truth. That God loves us. He has loved us from the very beginning and He continues to love us despite what we do or how we do not deserve that love. God had made this very clear in multiple ways. One of the passages that sticks to my mind is found in Isaiah 43:1-4. I read from the Message translation of the Bible.
“But now, God’s Message, the God who made you in the first place, Jacob, the One who got you started, Israel: “Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you: all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
That’s how much you mean to me! That’s how much I love you! I’d sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you.”
God is saying “ I paid a huge price for you… That is how much you mean to me. That is How much I love you.. I am willing to trade the entire creation just for you, I will sell off the whole world to get you back”. This is amazing. Just look at the passion in those words. Just feel the depth of God’s love in that pronouncement. And during this season of Lent, while we come close to the Good Friday and Easter Sunday, we know that God did just that. We know that God made good this promise in John 3:16
We know that this love is unconditional. There is no way we can earn this love except by accepting Jesus Christ as our saviour and Lord. But, the question that I would like us to ask ourselves this morning is “Do we want to do anything because of this love?” Not that we “owe” it to God, but because we love God, who loved us first when we were still sinners.
I would like us to turn our attention to John 21:15-19. This is known as the three fold redemption of Peter. Jesus asks him thrice, “Peter, do you love me?” And Peter confirms all the three times that he loves Him. I would like you to note that every time Peter confirms his love for the Master, Jesus asks him to “do some thing”. He says “ Feed my lambs”, “Shepherd my sheep” and “Feed my sheep”. To me this is very important. If we say we love Jesus, are we prepared to “do some thing for Him”. Are we prepared to Feed His lambs and shepherd His sheep? So to me, there is a call for action in the demonstration of our love. And we need to heed Jesus’ call to us in John15:16 “You did not chose me, I chose you to go and bear fruit, fruit that lasts” . Are we willing to listen to this call? Some of us say we are willing, but we question our own ability to go and bear fruit. For those, I would like to point out another of Jesus’ statement. John 14:12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do” Jesus is surely telling us that if we believe in Him, we can do those things that He did. And he has shown us a perfect way of showing the full extent of one’s love. Let us turn to John 13:1. The NIV version puts it this way “…Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love” And he begins this demonstration of the love in full extent with an act of washing the feet of his disciples, an act of Servant Leadership. So Jesus showed His love through Servant Leadership. How about you and me? How do we wish to demonstrate the love of Jesus to others? Do we look for special attention? Do we wish to show the power of Christianity through authority? Well, Jesus does not want us to do so. He is very clear. He says in Matthew 20: 25-28 “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
This evening, Jesus is asking us to demonstrate our love for him by caring for others? By serving others. Can we listen to His call once again in prayer and with willing hearts? Please read along with me John 13: 13-17 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”
Let us Pray!