Posted by: dhkrause | April 13, 2015

Transforming Love

Transforming Love

Love transforms. It is said, “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Here is a more worthy thought to contemplate: Love transforms. Absolute love transforms absolutely.

Transforming love has its source in God, whose love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:8) 1 John 4 declares:

He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. (v. 8)
And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. (v.16)
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, (v. 18a)
We love Him because He first loved us. (v. 19)

Love and joy go together. When Paul describes the fruit of the spirit, he lists these first: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23) Nehemiah 8:10 declares, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Abiding in God’s love and joy is a major theme in the upper room discourse of Jesus (Yeshua) to the disciples in John 13-17. He declares,

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (13:34-35)

“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” (14:23)

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.” (15: 9)

“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” (15:11)

“Ask [in My name], and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” (16:24)

In John 17, Jesus prays that we would enter into the mutual relationship of love that existed between the Father and himself from the beginning. No wonder Paul declares in Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”

F. F. Bruce writes, “In John 17, Jesus turns from holding communion with his disciples to hold communion with his Father on their behalf. This is his prayer of consecration before the impending sacrifice of the cross. The Father and the Son know each other in a mutuality of love. By the knowledge of God men and woman are admitted to the mystery of this divine love, being loved by God and loving him – and one another – in return.”

John 17 (NKJV)
Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

“The glory which he would receive from the Father would be the glory which he enjoyed in his presence before creation, in that ‘beginning’ in which the Word was eternally with the Father (John 1:2).” (ibid)  Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross enhances the timeless glory he had with the Father ‘before the world was’. God’s glory is shining through him and into those who believe in him, and through them to others. The Captain of our salvation is bringing sons and daughters to glory, as Hebrews 2 declares.

Jesus next prays for His disciples in gratitude for the faith they have received and that God’s glory is being extended to them. In verse 13, he prays that they may have “My joy fulfilled in themselves,” and then commissions them to take His word of truth into the world.

“I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.

“I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10 And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.

Jesus then prays for all who will believe in him through the disciples’ word. He prays for us to behold his glory and know the love that He shared with the Father before the foundation of the world.

20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, https://compellinglove.net/, 4/12/2015


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