August 23, 2015
Jesus spoke concerning love saying, "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:12,13).
It is one thing to speak of loving commitment. It is quite another thing to have that commitment of love. Praise God for the example of His Son Jesus who taught with His life how we are to love each other. In Jesus we see that standard, method, and heart attitude of love that each of us must measure ourselves by.
The example we see in Jesus is the same actions and attitude of love which we should be applying to our family relationships and our relationships as the family of God. Which prompts the question: How are we doing? Being honest, we all fall short. And, some of us have some pretty ugly moments that don't even come close.
Being part of a congregation is more than just showing up. Longevity as a member of a congregation does not always indicate the quality of our commitment to our brothers and sisters in Jesus.
The Church of Jesus Christ, the family of God, should be a place of nurture, acceptance, strength, growth, and development. The Church needs to be a family of believers in which people can share their joys and in which hurting people can have their burdens lifted. How are we doing at loving each other?
May we first realize the truth of what Jesus said, "as I have loved you." Meaning, that each of us has been loved with Jesus' sacrificial love. There is no way that any of us has what it takes to love each other unless we first come to realize God's love for each of us. Sacrificially loving others begins by surrendering ourselves to God and accepting His love for us. If we are to love others, He must love them through us. To obey God requires His working in us and through us.
Second, Jesus commands us to love each other. Loving others requires the choice of obedience. Let's face it, there are times when others are not that loveable. In fact, there are times when we are not that loveable. To love others requires a commitment to love them. Sometimes, when others deeply hurt us, the only thing that keeps us hanging in there is our choice to obey God.
Third, the "you love each other" command is in the plural. It's a group activity. We are commanded to help each other through a mutual commitment to sacrificial love. Love, in which the good of the many outweighs the wants of the few or the one.
May our Heavenly Father continue to help us each day to live following the example of our crucified Lord that we would grow in love for each other. May we be so in love with Jesus that we set ourselves aside so that we are free to love others sacrificially.