Love Is Greater Than Hate

As we snacked on grapes on Tuesday while studying how Jesus is the true grapevine, today’s study lesson is on the second part of John 15. Our study time today will have more of a bitter taste. So, with that, read verses 18-27.

Jesus starts off with some difficult words. “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.” What? The world is going to hate me if I follow Jesus? Look at verse 19 for the answer to why this is.

QUESTION: Why will the world hate you for walking with Jesus and following His ways?

Notice how Jesus chooses us. He sees great value and He has great love for us. He knows what will happen when we say yes to Him…

FUN INSIGHT: Read 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, Galatians 4:7, Ephesians 2:4-5, Galatians 2:20, Isaiah 43:4, Romans 8:17, 1 Peter 2:9-10 and Philippians 3:20-21 to see what happens to you when you say yes.

I hope these few nuggets of absolute truth are sinking in. I encourage you to find others truths and allow God to speak to you.

The love of God unites us all.

We know that Jesus was persecuted from every side with everything He said and did by those who loved following their own ways. Religious leaders hated Him as well as anyone who couldn’t get themselves to let go and let God lead. Ever since the fiasco in the Garden, the world has been turned upside down. The biggest character flaw, hatred. The person with the biggest bounty on his head is Jesus. I can say that in present tense because He is alive and active right now. We love and serve a living God!

QUESTION: Look at verse 22. Why would Jesus say that people do not have any excuse for their sin after they have heard truth from Him?

People won’t be able to say, “I didn’t know”, after reading and/or hearing truth. Jesus reveals who we are in our flesh. While this is hard to swallow when we come to facing our sin, Jesus does not leave us there.

FUN INSIGHT: Read Psalm 51:7, 1 John 1:7-9, John 1:29, Ezekiel 36:25-27, Hebrews 10:22 and Titus 3:5 and see what happens to us when Jesus enters our lives.

QUESTION: If someone hates Jesus, who else do they hate according to verse 23?

Our flesh is very weak, conniving and selfish. Look at verse 24 and 25 to see how this is true. We will not naturally follow God nor His Son. We have to be intentional in pursuing Him. We have to choose Jesus, daily. We need to start our days declaring that this is the day the Lord has made and we will rejoice and be glad in it.

In a recent blog, we talked about the Holy Spirit; see John 14. Notice how Jesus does not leave us in our sin but renews us and gives us a clean heart and renews our spirit; see Psalm 51:10. What is our part? We are to believe and receive His amazing gift of love and redemption by trusting in Christ alone. Acts 4:12 says that there is salvation in no one else. God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.

QUESTION: What will the Holy Spirit do for you; see verse 26?

Isn’t this amazing? God sends us a companion to walk with us who will help us to understand and know Jesus on a very personal level. We will be able to trust fully and listen intently to the Lover of our souls!

God calls us to do our part too.

QUESTION: What is our part; see our final verse?

We are to share with others what God has done for us. We need this now more than ever! We need people to stand up and share how active God is in their lives! Many, many people need to hear and come to know how much Jesus loves them. The enemy is duping many to believe in lies; lies about themselves, lies about our world, lies about God.

God placed an amazing story within each of us. Share it!

A pastor shared a dismal statistic of this reality. 9 out of 10 believers leave this earth without every sharing their faith*. While racism and terrorism are in the fore front of everyone’s minds to stop them, the biggest battle we all wage war on is sin and Satan! If we conquered these two, racism and terrorism and a slew of other maladies would cease to exist. Think about that.

I will leave this thought with those who are already Christ’s children, who are you going to share the amazing love of God with? Our world needs it more than ever!

(*Pastor Troy Dobbs, Grace Church, Eden Prairie, MN)

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