Love the Father Who Freely Gives
John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered him, “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. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me.
Love the Father who freely gives
Our passage starts in verse 15 - 5 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. It shouldn’t be a surprise that God wants us to obey him and live in such a way that is in keeping with God. What should surprise us is how God motivates us.
I have 2 kids who are entering the toddler phase. They’re at the stage now where they are old enough to decide for themselves more and more things. As a parent, how should I motivate them to make the right decisions? Do as I say, or I’ll beat you. Stop doing that or you’ll go into timeout.
How does Jesus motivate us to obey? Notice the Bible doesn’t say, if you don’t want to go to hell, keep my commandments. It doesn’t say if you want to receive blessings, do this. How does Jesus motivate us? If you love me, keep my commandments. Love is the reason why we call ourselves Christians. Love is the reason why we do this and not that. Love is the reason why we choose to date this person and not that person.
Every decision we ever have to make as Christians is fundamentally a question about our love. Jesus says Love the Father who freely gives. And the Father gives us 2 things.
God gives His Spirit who lives in us (v.15-17)
God gives His Son who dies for us (v.18-24)
God gives His Spirit who lives in us
5 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
Let me ask you this: how do you picture God in your mind? When we talk about God, everyone has a certain image of what they think God is like. It could be something like superman or the force, or shiva, or morgan freeman. Jesus tells us, that God is a heavenly Father who freely gives.
And God gives His Spirit (verse 16) to be with us forever, (verse 17) the Spirit of truth who dwells with us and in us. God gives us His Spirit to live in us. But my worry is that we understand the concept, but we’re not sure what it means practically that the Spirit of God lives in us. Look at verse 17.
17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
Stop for a moment and think. Do you guys realise that you have something that the world doesn’t have? And the world cannot take from you? Even Bill Gates with all his money cannot buy what you have. So don’t look at him and wish for what he has. Because that’s a downgrade. Whenever I feel envy creep into my heart, I take this verse like a spotlight and remind myself that whatever it is that I think I need or want, it is nothing compared to what I already have. It protects me from being consumed by greed. That’s just 1 example.
God gives His Son who dies for us
18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.
We know that a couple of days after Jesus said these words, He was tortured and killed. He knew what was going to happen. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more. He’s speaking ahead to when he will die on the cross. The reason he did that was to make us children of God.
Think about it. The parent-child relationship cannot be broken except in extraordinary circumstances. I can’t go and adopt a child just because I want to. Especially not if they already have a living parent. Not only that, even if Bill Gates wants to adopt me and I really want to, it can’t happen because I’m a child of my parents.
In the same way, all of us are children of wrath. All of us inherit the same heart that is bent towards evil. Don’t you find that lying is easier than telling the truth? Don’t you find yourself getting hurt or angry when someone criticises us, even if they are right? Nobody taught us or trained us to be like that. It’s our nature. Nobody forces us to lie. We have to be compelled to tell the truth. It’s because we are by nature children of sin.
At the cross, we were disowned by sin and death. Jesus says Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. By taking on a death sentence that He didn’t deserve, Jesus cut the cords that bind us to what is ultimately our destiny – to die and be judged for what we have done. It’s our choice to make. Whether we pay for the consequences of our own actions, or we make a claim from the cross where Jesus paid it all for us.
It’s almost like having private insurance. Who’s got private health insurance here? I regretted not getting it because I have terrible teeth and in 1 year I needed 7 repairs. You might say my teeth are fine, I’m a good person. But you know it’s just a matter of time and when the time comes, you either pay for it yourself or make a claim against what has already been paid. That’s what the cross is.
Love the Father who freely gives. He gives His Spirit who lives in us. He gives His Son who dies for us. Let me give you something to think about as we close.
Imagine a little orphan boy. And this rich couple comes to the orphanage wanting to adopt a child. And so they meet the boy falls in love with him and say to the him, would you like to come and live with us? We would love to be your parents. At what point does the boy become their child? When he is able to love the couple back? No. He become a child and then he learns to love.
Our passage tells us that God loved us and he gives His Spirit and His Son, not only after we are able to love him as we should, but before, and he made us his children.