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The Love

(Jesus) I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in Me through their message.
May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You.
May they also be one in Us, so the world may believe You sent Me.
I have given them the glory You have given Me.
May they be one as We are one.
I am in them and You are in Me.

May they be made completely one, so the world may know You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me.

Father, I desire those You have given Me to be with Me where I am.

Then they will see My glory, which You have given Me because You loved Me before the world’s foundation.
Righteous Father!
The world has not known You.
However, I have known You, and these have known that You sent Me.
I made Your name known to them and will make it known, so the love You have loved Me with may be in them and I may be in them.


(John) Dear friends, let us love one another, 

Because love is from God, 

And everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 

The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love

God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent His One and Only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 

Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 

Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. 

No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and His love is perfected in us.

This is how we know that we remain in Him and He in us: He has given assurance to us from His Spirit. And we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent His Son as the world’s Savior. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God—God remains in him and he in God. And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. 

God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.

In this, love is perfected with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, for we are as He is in this world. 

There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. 

So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love

We love because He first loved us.

If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. 

For the person who does not love his brother he has seen cannot love the God he has not seen.
-John 17:20-27, 1 John 4:7-20

Photo: Pixabay
My topic here is on the love, the love of God.  That love shown through The Son of God, Jesus; and the love that Jesus' followers receive and live out, in their lives. 

The whole message of God, of Jesus, of the church is one of love.  It is all about love.  The Father loves the Son, the Son loves us with the love of the Father, and we love one another, through that same love.

The greatest love story of all time, is God's love story.  God loves his son and out of love for mankind, God gave his son over to death, to rescue us.  The Son reveals The Father's love.

Jesus came, revealing the Father.  His last words of his prayer, in John 17, are that the love of the Father for Him would be in his disciples and He would also dwell in them.  He also adds, that He will continue to reveal the love of the Father to them:
I made Your name known to them and will make it known, so the love You have loved Me with may be in them and I may be in them.
Jesus is not just praying this for the eleven, but for those who would come after them, all the way down to you and me:
I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in Me through their message.
May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You.
May they also be one in Us, so the world may believe You sent Me.
I have given them the glory You have given Me.
May they be one as We are one.
I am in them and You are in Me.
May they be made completely one, so the world may know You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me.
Jesus prays 4 times in this section, and another time, previously, in verse 11, that they "may be one".  Oneness in love, for his people, is a high priority for Jesus.  Jesus is one with the Father and we are to be one with him and one another.

The love that Jesus is talking about is a sacrificial, giving love.  The love that Christians have for one another, which is the marker or witness that Jesus is real, is really God's Son and the Christ, is exemplified in the laying down of our lives for one another.  The love, that love, God's love, and the Christian's love, is not a mere toleration of other family members, but a celebration of them with a radical generosity.

That love, the love of God we live in starts with God and then flows through our lives.  John describes the love in the forth chapter of his first letter.  If you are born of God, you will live in and practice God's love says John:
Dear friends, let us love one another,

Because love is from God,
And everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
The gospel, by which we are saved, is a message of love:
God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent His One and Only Son into the world so that we might live through Him.
Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. 
After being touched by that love, we begin living in and through the love of God.  As we love one another, God's love grows in us.  The Spirit of God reassures us of God's love and of the truth about His Son.  We remain in God's love through Jesus, the Son of God:
No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and His love is perfected in us.
This is how we know that we remain in Him and He in us: He has given assurance to us from His Spirit. And we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent His Son as the world’s Savior. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God—God remains in him and he in God. And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. 
When we have his love, we live in love, rather than the fear that the world lives in.  The holy fear of Almighty God and living in fear are two different things.  To say that because we live in God's love, we no longer live in fear is not to say that we do not have reverential fear of God.

Respect and honor are very different from fear that anxiously expects punishment.  God loves the Son and God's love is shown in the Son.  Those who receive God's Son receive God's love and are beloved by God.

We know God is love and are not anxious about being punished.  Being loved by God does not just mean heaven later, but life now.  Being loved by God means we are God's children and God is a good father, in reality, in our real lives.
God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.
In this, love is perfected with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, for we are as He is in this world.
There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment.
So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love
John drives home the points that the love starts with God and then is reflected in our lives, if we have received that love.  You can not say you love God or have received that love and not love your brother.
We love because He first loved us.
If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar.
For the person who does not love his brother he has seen cannot love the God he has not seen.
The Christian life is a life of love.  We live, breathing, walking, thinking, and talking, through that love.  How we treat others, is through that love.

To love one another is the command of the Christ follower's life.  That love means laying down your life for others, who are Christians.  That means preferring and differing to others.

The life of love is a life-long love relationship with God, letting God love you, and learning to live loved.  That love plays out in our lives in our actions of loving others.  The non-believing, unsaved, pre-Christian persons look and see that love and it witnesses to the love of God and the truth of God's love in sending his Son to save the world.

Jesus' way of life for his followers, that he calls us to is simply, "love one another".  It is funny that we emphasize teaching, worship, learning, and spiritual things like spiritual warfare and the gifts of the Spirit; which are all good, but they are not the first thing.  These all ring hollow, fall flat, or lack authority; when we do not first, and underneath everything, live loving one another, because we are living loved by Father and Christ.

The love comes first and stays first.  That love must stay hot and be cultivated and lived in.  We can never not love other believers, who are our brothers and sisters.

We get it that Jesus dying on the cross was and is God's love.  God gave what was most precious to Him.   And Jesus entrusted himself to the Father, always.  Their love is reciprocal and we are invited into that love, which we begin living in, laying our lives down for others.

God is love and has always been loving.  God also was loving from before creation and through all time.  Jesus' person showed us God and God's love.  Jesus said to love one another before the cross and John repeats it after the cross.

Jesus is one with his father and we become one with Jesus and join in on the life of love.  Love is the life and the life is lived by love.  And that love is sacrificial love.

We saw him and became captured by God's love through him.  That same love that saved us is the love that we live out our lives through.  The mark of the Christian is love.

We might know things, be wise, and do all sorts of good stuff.  But without love, it is meaningless.  The love brings the meaning and that love is from intimate relationship, from which I can say, "He knows me": He has intimate access to my heart and soul.

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