Greater Love – A Communion Message


Photo by James Coleman on Unsplash

John 15:12-14 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

True love – the greatest of love – is to be willing to lay down your life for another. This is an utter act of unselfishness.

What is a life worth?

The late founder of Walmart Stores – Sam Walton – had a net worth of $2.8 billion dollars, and while he walked this earth was reckoned by Forbes Magazine to be the richest man in the entire world. During the October 1987 stock market crash Walton lost $2.6 billion dollars in personal net worth. What did Walton say when asked about the loss?

“It’s only paper.”

I don’t know if Walton was a Christian or not, but he had the right idea. What is most precious is life. All life. All colors. All humans. All ages. Life is precious. You are precious. Life is made by God. Every life has potential. You have potential. God made you not so you could toss away your lives, but to live in His image and in His presence. To follow His Word, not the world.

How many have heard of Freddie Figgers, or his company Figgers Communication? I never have – but this is the kind of story you’ll never hear on the network news.

A little Afro-American baby was abandoned near a dumpster. That child was rescued, adopted, and loved by Nathan and Betty Figgers. They raised little Freddy as if he were their own – for he was. Freddy said “I have never met my biological parents. I have never had the interest”. By age 12 Freddie had his first job as a computer technician. By 15 years old he started to develop a cloud database in his back yard, and became his own boss. By the time he was 30 years old he had his own telecommunications company, Figgers Communications. He is now the founder and CEO of Figgers Wireless, a black owned telecommunications firm valued at over $62.3 million dollars. What drove him? His God given talents with computers, and his love for those who laid their lives down for him. You see,

His adoptive father Nathan developed Alzheimer’s.

So Freddie began to research, and developed a two way communications device/ GPS tracker that he put in the pair of shoes his father wore. This way he could both locate and talk to his dad at any time.

Freddie was abandoned, but his adoptive parents saved him,
laying down their lives for him.
Freddie is now laying down his life for others.

Freddie’s is driving his company to develop devices to help people manage diabetes. He said: “For far too long, large diabetic medical supply corporations has made billions of dollars profiting from this horrible disease by taking advantage of consumers with outrageous cost. We could have easily sold our invention to any Medical supply company, but that would only be adding to the problem. We have a solution that’s all in one and it remotely manages diabetics 24/7. But best of all {it is affordable} for all patients. WE PUT PEOPLE OVER PROFIT.”

This is not a Joel Osteen Sermon – with all due respect to Mr. Osteen. I don’t know what Freddie or his parents relationship to the Lord is, and I’m making no judgments. But here is a great truth here that American Christianity has missed over the past few years. It was what Jesus taught us, but we have largely abandoned:

God created us to lay our lives down in love to others.
God modeled this unselfish, sacrificial life through Jesus Christ.

The Father Sent Jesus To A Selfish World

John 15:12 This is my commandment,
That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

God in the flesh, Jesus Christ gave us a commandment. Not a request, not a suggestion, not a theory. A commandment. God spoke from Mount Sinai through Moses and gave the Law. Now God speaks directly to us.

love one another, as I have loved you

Not to just “love one another”. The Beatles sang about loving one another. Country, Rap, Hip Hop, and Rock and Roll all sing about love, but the love represented by the world is selfish and self serving. Jesus commanded another love. A love just as He loved us. What was that love?

  • God’s love is undeserved. We are all sinners, born selfish, far from God in our thoughts and actions. Our Great Shepherd gave us life, and yet we barely acknowledge Him:

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

When God gave His Son, how did He come into the world? Was He celebrated with fanfare? Was His birth into humanity headline news in the ancient world? No. The Bible tells us that Mary ..

Luke 2:7 …. brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Liberals and so called Bible scholars have tried to minimize this by redefining the clear scriptural text. You can say what you will, but Jesus was not born in the best of places. He was forsaken from the very beginning. This was no surprise to God. No one sought Jesus at the beginning but some Gentile Magi from the area of Babylon. The shepherds sought out Jesus only because …

Luke 2:9-12 … the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

  • God’s Love is unwanted. The humility of Jesus and His rejectedness was a sign to the shepherds that the Messiah had come. When the shepherds went and saw Jesus, the Bible says:

Luke 2:17-18 .. when they had seen {Jesus}, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

Here was the Messiah, the Savior of the world. He had been prophesied of in the Old Testament, the “hope of Israel” the Servant and Messiah …

Isaiah 49:6 … to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.

Jesus came into a world that did not want Him, a selfish place. When the Magi – the “Wise Men” from the East came to Jerusalem looking for Jesus how was He regarded? They were excited, saying:

Matthew 2:2 … Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

Was Herod the King ecstatic that the Messiah, the savior came? Absolutely not! Herod tried to deceive the wise men, but could not, for God was with them.

Matthew 2:12 … And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

When Herod realized that he had been ignored he showed the selfishness of the lost. The Bible says:

Matthew 2:16-18 … Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by {Jeremiah} the prophet, saying, 18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

God knew that this evil would occur, and foretold of it in Jeremiah 31:15. God knew that the world, driven by selfishness, would not want the Savior. Yet the Savior wanted the world. He came to give Himself for all, though we did not want Him. The Scripture spoke of our selfishness:

Isaiah 53:1-11 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. 9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

Jesus came to a world that did not want Him – but He loved us anyway. The Christmas Story is not a pleasant one – not really. Praise God that Jesus came … but we did not want Him. We were satisfied in our selfishness, in our sinfulness.

We pampered the God that is “Me”, and were headed toward hell and eternal damnation with no hope for tomorrow. Yet Jesus came anyway. He loved us enough to be born in the lowest of places –
He, the King of Glory. For us!

The Love Of Christ Is Unselfish And Sacrificial – Free To All

John 15:12-13 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

God calls us to friendship through His Christ. Throughout His life Jesus reached out in love to others. The religious crowd constantly rejected Him. Sadly, religion often does that. Religion says “if you do this ceremony or if you do that ceremony God will be impressed”. Only two things about us have ever impressed God. God is impressed with how evil we can be – how we can take His good blessings and twist them to evil in some unnamed god’s name.

Evil impresses God. It impressed God to destroy all the known world but eight souls in Noah’s day (Genesis 6:5-6).
The selfless sacrifice of Jesus impresses God.
Nothing else among humanity impresses God –
just evil and the overwhelming love of Jesus Christ!

Jesus Christ impressed the Father with His willing sacrifice on Calvary. Jesus laid His life down for His friends. Jesus told us:

John 10:14-18 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. 17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

Jesus willingly and selflessly laid down His life for ours. He paid the penalty of our sin by His suffering and death. This impresses God the Father and God the Spirit, that God the Son would do this.

Beloved, you are saved from eternal damnation because of Christ, because of His selfless love.

He died for us. He is the Perfect Sacrifice for our evil. His selfless love – if received – saves us from eternal punishment. The Scripture says:

Colossians 1:19-23 … For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21 And you, that were {in past times} alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in {God the Father’s} sight: 23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

1 Peter 1:18-23 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. 22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

The Mark Of Salvation Is To Love Like Jesus

John 15:12-14 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

Jesus laid His life down “for His friends”. You are His “friend” only if you imitate Him, doing as He says. You, dear Christian, are saved to live selflessly, not selfishly. You are to be like Jesus. You are to love the unlovable. You are to lay your lives down for others whether they deserve it or not. This is what we are called to be.

The selfish Christian and the self centered Church is no different from the world around it. We are called to be more. That is what the Lord’s Table reminds us. Jesus Christ gave Himself unselfishly to save me and bring me into the Family of God. Now I live by the Law of love and the Spirit. I live loving others, dying to self daily. It is surprisingly simple to become a Christian, but a lifetime work that you will fail at, but strive for. In the Lord’s Table we symbolically take Christ into us. As we leave this place we are to live not symbolically, but literally, loving and serving others.

This is the Way of Christ. This is why you were born. Are you born again? Or are you just “religious”? Both God and the world know the difference. I hope you do. I hope you do. May Christ touch your hearts with His Word!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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