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If You Love Me

 

It seems to be human nature to demand tangible proof before believing in things that are outside our realm of experience – especially when they seem too good to be true.

When Philip asks for evidence of the reality of God’s presence and immeasurable love, Jesus once again explains the intimate nature of the relationship that binds him to the Father – and his desire that all believers might also enjoy that intimacy as we enter into relationship with Jesus.

Something as wonderful as being in a personal relationship with the Almighty God who creates all things was way beyond Philip’s hopes or understanding.

As Jesus attempts to prepare his disciples for his inevitable and imminent departure by means of the cross, he lays down once more the obligation of all who call themselves his followers to obey his commandments of love – what we know as the Two Great Commandments: love the Lord God utterly & completely first and foremost, and love one another as Jesus has loved us. And our Lord always offers us a choice: “If you love me….” [v15]

Then Jesus begins to describe the gift of God’s Holy Spirit that will soon come to live within all who love him and call him Lord following his mysterious ascension when he returns to be with the Father.

This promised Spirit of Truth would fall on the grieving disciples in a fresh and spectacular way on what we celebrate as the Day of Pentecost – and the world would be changed forever.

That same Holy Spirit that moved the disciples to proclaim Jesus such that people of different nationalities could understand them in their native languages moves within us today! And the message is clear – the Spirit of God is available to anyone who accepts Jesus Christ as Saviour and obeys his word, regardless of nationality or background.

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Colossians 3:15-4:1  [NRSV]

15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Rules for Christian Households

18 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is your acceptable duty in the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, or they may lose heart. 22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything, not only while being watched and in order to please them, but wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever your task, put yourselves into it, as done for the Lord and not for your masters, 24 since you know that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you serve the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for whatever wrong has been done, and there is no partiality.

4 Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, for you know that you also have a Master in heaven.

 

John 14:8-17 [NRSV]

Philip said to Jesus, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. 12 Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

15 ‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17 This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.

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