“Love one another.” Sounds doable, right? Care about and care for our brothers and sisters in Christ. After all, we are children of the same Father. We all have the same Holy Spirit. Yep, completely doable. Umm, unless meeting a need means I have to change my schedule. Or open my wallet. Or give up my free evening watching my favorite television shows. Or get outside my comfort zone.
In the last few weeks, I’ve had many opportunities to “love one another.” Several families in my church have been slammed by life. In the midst of their difficulties God has taught me something about myself. I’m quick to take and slow to give. I’m still a child. Wanting what I want. Thinking of myself first.
The night Jesus was betrayed He gave the disciples this directive:
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, if you have love for one another. John 13:34-35 (NASB)
Jesus told us to love each other like He loved us. Jesus loved us enough to die for us. But loving each other like Jesus commanded does not come easily or naturally for us sinful humans. How can we love like Jesus loves when we are so normally self-centered?
The Apostle John gives us some insight in 1 John 4:7-17:
– God is love, so all love comes from God (vs 8).
– God’s love is active (vs 9).
– We should love others because God loved us. His love is the basis for our love (vs 10-11).
– God is revealed to others through His people acting in love (vs 12).
– If we love others it proves that God is abiding in us (vs 12).
If we love others because we are abiding in God, then the opposite is also true. If we fail to love it’s because we are not abiding in God like we should be. Lack of love for our fellow Christians is a sign that something needs to be fixed in our relationship with God. So, the key to loving others is abiding in Christ. As we cling to Jesus and depend on Him for every moment His love will flow through us to others.
There’s only one solution to my failure to love: More of Jesus and less of me.