“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” – John 15:12-14
Before I begin, nothing I write will matter to you unless you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God and God Himself, came to earth born of a virgin, perfect in every way, sinless, sacrificed Himself on the cross for our sins, rose again on the 3rd day, sits now at the right hand of the Father and will one day come back to take us with Him.
For those of us who have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior and the Bible as the inerrant Word of God, in Mark 12:30 and John 15:12-14, He summarizes to us how we are to live our lives by stating these as the greatest of all commandments.
The question is, are we willing?
Love the Lord with all we’ve got and love others as the Lord loves us. There it is. The one statement that encompasses our entire existence.
1 Corinthians 13 tells us how we are to express our love towards each other.
- Be patient
- Be kind
- Don’t be jealous
- Don’t brag
- Don’t be arrogant
- Don’t act unbecomingly
- Don’t seek your own
- Don’t be provoked
- Don’t keep an account of wrongs done to you
- Don’t rejoice with unrighteousness
- Rejoice with the truth
- Bear all things
- Believe all things
- Hope all things
- Endure all things
Because love, never fails.
No doubt, all of you are very familiar with it. But how many of us actually practice it? And how can we translate this to every day life?
Scripture tells us that while we were still sinners, that Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). It’s interesting if you notice the verse prior to this, which pretty much states that for a righteous man, scarcely anyone would die, where as for a good man, maybe some would. And we all know that none of us are righteous (Romans 3:10) and we know that only the Lord alone is good (Mathew 19:17).
Christ chose to die. He was not forced or tricked into it or powerless to prevent it. (John 10:18)
Sure, He was fully God and fully human and we know that in the garden He agonized over what was about to happen. Jesus knew:
- that He was going to be arrested and falsely accused
- that His friends and disciples would desert Him
- that He would be mocked by the very people He created
- stripped and humiliated
- beaten mercilessly
- given a crown of thorns
- nailed to the cross
- die a painful death
- above all, be separated from the Father
Despite all this, He still WILLINGLY CHOSE to OBEY and LAY DOWN His LIFE for you and me.
This is love.
You and I have to be willing to go through the kind of suffering that our Lord endured, all for His love for us and because He wants the best for us, that is spending eternity with Him in heaven. If you were to take 1 Corinthians 13 and compare it to how the Lord dealt with all the events leading to the crucifixion, you will see that He lived up to all that love is.
If you don’t memorize a lot of verses, do yourself a favor and memorize 1 Corinthians 13. We cannot claim ignorance and say that we don’t know what it means to love others as the Lord loves us. He has clearly explained it and demonstrated it in His own life.
Your family or friends or those you care about may say hurtful words and do hurtful things to you. Because you choose to love and not seek revenge, some may even call you a wuss and say that you don’t have a backbone to stand up to others. Jesus could have easily summoned a legion of angels and laid waste to the earth if that was the case, but He didn’t and wouldn’t NOT couldn’t!
No my friends. When we willingly obey the Lord’s commandments to love, to forgive, to forget and not react as the world would expect us to react, thats not being weak, but being strong in the Lord.
The next time you are the road and some one cuts you off or breaks the law and gets away with it, remember : Love is patient and is not provoked!
The next time a friend or family or loved one says or does something that hurts, whether or not they did it on purpose does not matter, remember: Love is kind and does not take into account wrongs suffered
The next time you are in a situation where making a decision may not be the very best for you, but it could be profitable for someone you care about (no matter who they are), do what is best for others and not follow your selfish ambition because remember: Love does not seek its own.
The next time you are in a sticky situation and you find yourself slowly losing your cool, don’t act like a foolish person and curse up a storm or start a fight, because remember: Love does not act unbecomingly.
The next time something bad or unjust happens to someone you know or care about, share their burden and be there for them because remember: Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness
The next time something wonderful happens to someone you know or care about, share in their moment, because remember: Love rejoices with the truth.
If we are to truly love others, lets just not talk what love is but really live it by bearing everything that happens to us and in our lives, believing all the promises of the Lord, hoping all things in Him, enduring in Him because love never fails!
Love is first and foremost a decision, a choice. Feelings and butterflies in the stomach are part of it, but the core of it all is a conscious decision we make to love, not based on what the world sells to us in magazines, soap operas and movies, but built on the Word of the Lord.
May the Lord continue to circumcise our hearts (Deuteronomy 30:6) so that we are able to love Him by obeying His commandments as revealed in the Word, living it in our daily lives and love others as He has called us to, because without Him, we are helpless and lost.
Today, now, let’s choose to love.
God bless you all.