Friday, August 15, 2014

Love as Jesus Loves You

Chuckle: "One way to improve your memory is to lend people money!"
Quote: "To love as Jesus loves; that is not only the Lord's precept, it is our vocation. When all is said and done it is the one thing we have to learn, for it is perfection." --Rene` Voillaume
    "Don't just pretend that you love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of the good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other" (Romans 12 9-10 NLT).
I read about a church meeting where emotions were running high because of differing opinions about something.  A bystander, watching and listening, could not miss the rancor, hurtful words, bitterness, pride and a lack of Christian love being shown.  After the tumultuous meeting, the same members went outside and found a young pregnant mother in the parking lot with a baby in her arms and holding a second child by the hand.  She desperately need help.  The same church members who were fighting just a few minutes before now joined together to show love and support for someone they didn't even know.  Does this seem strange to you?
When Jesus was about to go to the cross, he said to His disciples, "So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove that you are my disciples" (John 13:34-35 NLT).
When you take our two passages together, a beautiful picture is revealed about how we should love our Christian brothers and sisters -- brotherly love for those closest to us.  Jesus knew His followers would need a special kind of love for each other if they were to come through the crisis of His crucifixion and later to carry out the Great Commission to evangelize the world (Matthew 28:19-20.
Previously, Jesus had taught that the standard for loving others was to "love your neighbor as you love yourself."  But He knew this kind of neighborly love, would be inadequate for His followers in loving each other.  Here Jesus sets a new standard of brotherly love for believers.  Now we are to love other Christians not as we love ourselves but as Jesus has loved us.  This is the unconditional sacrificial "agape" love like that with which Jesus has loved us as He gave Himself for us on the cross.  This kind of love will motivate us to love both believers, our neighbors and all others as Jesus has loved us.
Have you noticed that we often tend to treat total strangers with greater kindness than those closest to us -- in our biological families as well as our spiritual/church families.  This was the case of the young woman in the parking lot.  You see, it is our love for each other that proves to the world that we belong to and are followers of Christ. 
Jesus assumes that people will see our acts of love for each other.  If they don’t see our acts of love for each other, how will they know we belong to Christ.  We cannot limit our expressions of love to the four walls of the church.  Rather we show our love in our homes, our work places, our classrooms, and everywhere we go each day.  let's examine our hearts and see if we genuinely love one another as Jesus has loved us or if we are pretending.  It's easy to say we love someone, but the genuineness of our words is proven by our actions.

Love, Jerry & Dotse  


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