Saturday, August 29, 2015

Known by Love

    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, that you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35)

    This is one of the most radical concepts in Christianity, though very often we do not recognize it as such. Yes, most of the time, Christian love becomes yet another attribute on a long list of morals that we should work on and think about in our spare time, once we've mastered the externals like praying before meals and good Christianese.

    Yet this is not how Jesus handled this idea. To Jesus, He made it very clear what the focus of His ministry was, and what ours is to be. His mission was not outward conformity to rules and changed behavior, but a full redemption, atonement, and radical heart change that resulted in a new way of looking at the world, a replaced worldview of love and grace in place of our old eyes of harsh judgmentalism.

    See, as a Christian, I cannot look at the world the same way I did before. If I see every human being (yes, every human being) as creations of God, souls, with infinite eternal value, then my reaction to them must be a demonstration of love, the very love of God through me that He has shown to me.

    In Jn. 13, Jesus is specifically speaking of church love, brethren to brethren. But our love shouldn't stop there. In Lk. 6 commands us to love our enemies, and Rom. 12:9 challenges us to show sincere love. Loving our brethren and enemies sincerely pretty much covers the whole world. Our love should be world-encompassing.

    This includes sinners. Our love should extend beyond the doors of our church to our enemies! Think about that. We are to respond to hatred with love, sin with love, criticism with love, anger with love. We should be recognized by our love, to the extent that unbelievers look at the church as "those crazy people who won't stop loving everyone!"

    We should be recognized as believers by our love, not just to the lovable, but to those who our culture, accepted norms of religion and preference, and public opinion dictate should be ignored or looked down on. Our love should extend to Muslims, gays, other denominations, other political parties, government officials whose policies we are not fond of. Our love should be the factor that draws the world to recognize us as possessing something they don't have!

    Take a moment to think about the changes that would happen in the church and its actions around the world, our country, and our neighborhoods if we began to live a life characterized by love instead of comfort or cultural acceptance. Jesus wasn't unclear about his commands for us as His followers. We are commanded to love.

    And not just to love, but to love, even as Jesus loved. We're commanded to love in the same selfless, sacrificial way our Lord did. The man we're supposed to emulate died out of sacrificial love. Is this any inclination of how we are to respond to the world around us? We are to love in a manner that involves sacrifice and discomfort at times. Our love for them should be sincere and unselfish, just as Christ's was for us.

    So, as we go about our lives, let love be our law. This new commandment of Jesus' that sums up all the OT law is to love, simply to put others first, to sacrifice for their good. So take the time to listen to a friend that needs a listening ear. Show that little brother how to throw a ball. Be a good example to that friend's little sibling who is watching your every move, trying to emulate them. Love them as Jesus loved. Show care and concern for those still lost, and a sacrificial unselfishness for those who have found grace beside us at the cross.


  1. Very nice, Taylor. Even though I don't agree with a lot of our governmental and even the countries entire leadership's opinions, it is still our duty to love them as Jesus loved. Thank you for the reminder.

    1. Thank you for dropping by and for commenting!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, Cassie! Nice to see you over here again! Thanks for dropping in.

  3. Good job, Taylor! Enjoyed reading this and you made some good points.