Pastor’s Corner: “Mandate of Love”
John 13:34 (NLT) – 3So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.
Jesus not only tells us that we are to love one another, but He also tells us how we are to love one another. Did you catch it? Did you notice the standard that Jesus set for loving others? He is the standard. We are to imitate His example. How He loves us is how we are to love others. How He loves me is how I am to love you. How He loves you is how you are to love me.
So how did Jesus love? If I had to put it in one word, I would say, sacrificially. Jesus loved sacrificially. This mandate is being given in the context of Jesus’ washing of the disciples’ feet. Jesus explained that if He was willing to act as a humble servant, to love that low and that deep, so should those who follow Him. They would not fully know the extent of what Jesus was showing them, but they would see the depth of God’s Love when they witnessed Jesus on the Cross.
No one in history has ever loved like Jesus loves. How did Jesus love us? Sacrificially, completely, unconditionally, fiercely, humbly, continuously, courageously, and recklessly. He always, without exception, put others before Himself. He didn’t love people for what He could get from them; He loved them for what He could give to them. He didn’t choose His disciples for what they could do for Him. He chose them for what He could do for them.
Acts 17:25 (NLT) – 25 and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. God does not need us. But, amazingly, He loves us passionately, and in His goodness He wants us to live with Him forever. Think about this: He chose you and me not for what we could do for Him, but what He could do for us (freedom from sin and everlasting life). Nothing you’ve ever done or will ever do can stop God from loving you. God said in Jeremiah 31:3 (GW) – “I love you with an everlasting love.” Do you know how long everlasting is? It’s forever. You can’t make God stop loving you; He will love you forever. His love isn’t based on what you do. It’s based on who He is. The only reason you’re alive is because God made you… to love you!
God’s love will transform you when you experience it. It turns somebody who is hateful, bigoted, or racist into a kind, gentle, and loving person. When God’s love hits your heart, it changes you.
If your life hasn’t changed, then you don’t know God. You can’t have somebody as big as God come into your life and not be changed by it. When God’s love comes into your life, it changes how you react to everyone else. When you truly understand and experience the love of God, you can’t help but pass it on to others.
If you want to know real love, don’t look at culture – look at Jesus. Don’t look at Hollywood – look at heaven. We have a mandate from heaven to love one another and we have the model from Jesus on how to do it. If you have received the love of God in Christ you must share that same love with others and Guard this love fiercely! The enemy wants to kill, steal and destroy that which is most valuable…first your love for God and then your love for others. Matthew 24:12 (AMP) – 12 Because lawlessness is increased, the love of most people will grow cold. Be on guard!
If we will just choose to open our eyes and look around, there are always opportunities to show God’s love. There are needs all around us…people hurting, confused, needy, and lost. Make sure to spend time every day to consider and reflect on this remarkable Love that Jesus has freely given and continues to give us. Let this love transform our eyes and hearts as we prepare to walk in the same sacrificial love!
In His Grace,