Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Love One Another

- Jesus commands His disciples/His followers to love one another as He has loved them. He doesn't tell us to love one another only when we feel like it or only love those who are lovable and agreeable. When we love one another like Jesus, it means we also love people who are rude, disrespectful, self-centered, disagreeable, argumentative,.... It means we love everyone, regardless of their imperfections. "We cannot choose whom we will love if we claim to be Christians." (~Anomymous) Earlier in this same chapter, Jesus demonstrates His amazing love by washing the disciples' feet (including Judas' feet). This is humble, visible love in action. Christ calls us to be foot washers/servants of all. As Jesus has loved and served us, so we must love and serve one another! He wants us to follow His example and love our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ unconditionally by serving them selflessly and humbly and meeting their needs sacrificially (even laying down our lives for them).
- How will the world recognize Jesus' disciples? By their love for one another! Agape love among Christ's followers is a testimony to the world and draws others to Christ. On the contrary, when the world see Christians bicker, fight, backstab, hurt, blame, accuse one another, it allows them to play the hypocrite card as an excuse for rejecting Jesus. It turns them off to Christianity. "Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us." (1 John 4:11-12) "We are one in the Spirit; we are one in the Lord!...All praise to the Father, from Whom all things come, and all praise to Christ Jesus, His only Son, and all praise to the Spirit, Who makes us one. And they'll know we are Christians by our love. Yes, they'll know we are Christians by our love." (~Peter Scholtes) Christ's disciples are identified by their genuine love for one another!
- Our love for one another is modeled and motivated by Christ's love for us. His love towards us is patient, kind, compassionate, gentle, and committed. Is our love for one another like that? Love means praying for one another, forbearing & forgiving one another, bearing one another's burdens, encouraging & edifying one another/building one another up, admonishing one another, being at peace with one another, honoring one another above ourselves, rejoicing and mourning with one another, caring for one another, comforting one another, accepting one another, being truthful with one another, being there for one another, serving one another, etc. "You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love." (Galatians 5:13) 
- PrayerDear Heavenly Father, please help us to love and serve one another with humility like Jesus does. Please open our eyes to see the needs of others and how we can meet those needs. Please help us to faithfully follow Christ's footsteps. May our words and actions reflect Your agape love. In Jesus's Name, I pray. Amen.

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