“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35 NIV)
People will know Jesus in your life by love. How you love others is a reflection of Jesus’s presence in your life. He has shown us how to love people, now we’re to do it. Jesus was present with people. He listened to them (Luke 24:17-20 NIV). He had compassion for them (Matthew 9:36 NIV). He set healthy boundaries, allowing people to make their own choices (Mark 10:21-22 NIV). He didn’t enable people in their sin (John 8:11 NIV). He loves deeply (John 3:16 NIV). He spoke truth (John 18:38 NIV). He did everything with grace and mercy (Mark 6:34 NIV). If you want people to know Jesus, love like He did.
If you want people to know Jesus, love like He did.
I can’t love people like Jesus if I don’t spend time with Him. I don’t want to love everyone in my humanness. None of us do. People in our lives who hurt us deeply, are hard to love. But Jesus loves them too. We don’t get to pick and choose who we love, Jesus doesn’t give us that option:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31 NIV)
Who is our neighbor? Everyone. The person standing in front of you at the grocery store is our neighbor. The poor driver who cuts you off in traffic is our neighbor. The family member who constantly causes trouble is our neighbor. The ex-boyfriend who cheated is our neighbor. The person who murdered my good friend’s son is our neighbor. How are we to love people who have caused us pain in our lives? We let Jesus show us the way.
The first part of the great commandment is: “Love the Lord your God…” (Mark 12:30 NIV). In order to love others, we have to love God first. We have to seek Him daily, asking Him to fill us with His love. We can’t love others without first receiving love from God. He will show us how to love those who have hurt us deeply. He will help us forgive those who have committed unspeakable acts against us. He will protect us from further harm by helping us set appropriate boundaries. Through Jesus, we can love anyone. He doesn’t intend us to be their Savior, that’s His job. He just expects us to love.
Question of the Day:
Who do you need Jesus’ help loving today?