The Gift of Love
May 3, 2022
And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you (John 14:16-17).
Love, by nature, is active. We do not love in word only, but also in works. If love does not motivate a person to reach out to another, it is not love. Ideally it also is reciprocal. I say reciprocal because one who loves another may not necessarily receive love in return. This is demonstrated again and again in the Old Testament. The Lord said to Israel through the prophet Jeremiah (31:2-3), “The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness Israel, when I went to give him rest.” The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” But Israel had a history of not loving the Lord. “What injustice have your fathers found in Me, that they have gone far from Me, have followed idols, and have become idolaters?” Neither did they say, “'Where is the LORD, who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, who led us through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and pits, through a land of drought and the shadow of death, through a land that no one crossed and where no one dwelt?” I brought you into a bountiful country, to eat its fruit and its goodness. But when you entered, you defiled My land and made My heritage an abomination. The priests did not say, “Where is the LORD?” And those who handle the law did not know Me; the rulers also transgressed against Me; the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit” (Jeremiah 2:5-8).
Love spurned produces anger and wrath. That’s why we read so much of it in the Old Testament. Therefore the Lord removed Israel from the Promised Land because of their persistent disregard and disobedience toward the Lord.
In John 15:15 Jesus said, If you love Me, keep My commandments. He called upon the disciples to demonstrate their love for Him, not just in words, but also in works. Then He demonstrated His love for them by promising to send the Holy Spirit, And I will pray to the Father, and He will give you another Helper that He may abide with you forever (v. 16). The Apostle Paul wrote (Romans 5:5), Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
For 3 years Jesus had been the Comforter of the disciples and the people of Israel. But He was preparing to leave them through His death, resurrection, and ascension. However, He and the Father would send the Holy Spirit to take His place - not among them, but to live in them. This is a supreme demonstration of His love for them, and for us, that He would love us to the very end (John 13:1). To all who confess and repent of sin, believing in and receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit is given as a demonstration of God’s love for us. Amen.