John 15:9-12 – “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”
Love. It’s something we all want and crave. We want to be loved by those around us. We want to see them smile at us and laugh with us. We want to feel their hand of comfort upon us during hard times, and we want to see them standing at the end of a long race. Love is something that every person no matter race, color or creed desires. Oh, it may look different to different people, but we all need it to thrive.
Jesus wants us to be IN His love. That doesn’t mean skirting the edges or dipping our toe in it. Nope, He wants us neck deep in it. Remember how when you were a kid that when it was time to get in the pool that you wanted to jump all out in the deep end? That’s what Jesus wants – us jumping into the deep end of His love.
But what we find when we get there can be somewhat frightening and somewhat exciting. “What could possibly be frightening about the love of Jesus?”, you might ask. Obedience. Being obedient can be frightening at times. It may mean getting out of your comfort zone. It might mean having people not like you. It might mean that someone could make fun of you. Yep, obedience can be scary. BUT jumping into the deep end of love can also be exciting – enter joy.
Now, here’s the thing about joy – lots of people get it confused with happiness. Joy is not always happiness. Joy is that “peace that passes all understanding”. It’s knowing that God has got this thing and I don’t need to worry about it. All those things that makes obedience frightening, joy makes them tolerable.
And love covers them all. Love is what fills the deep end. Love is what makes you choose to be obedient. Love is what makes you find joy. Love. You gotta have it.
We shouldn’t just keep all this wonderfulness to ourself. No, we need to spread it around. Other people need it too! You see, Jesus loves in a very special way – He gave His life for us. We need to love others in the same way. To that person that drives you crazy, love them. To that child that asks a million and one questions, love them. To that spouse that frustrates you to no end, love them. To that person who is smiling all the time because smiling is their favorite, love them.
Jumping into the deep end of Jesus’ love does have consequences. You might experience a peace that weirds people out. You might find yourself telling the person behind you in the coffee line about Jesus. You might even find yourself at church every time the doors are open. Who knows what will happen! But guess what? It is totally worth the jump.