Monday, June 13, 2016

Why Love Others?

Chuckle: "My home church welcomes all denominations, but mainly they prefer tens and twenties!"
Good Quote: "The highest love of all finds its fulfillment not in what it keeps, but in what it gives." --Fr Andrew SDC
Great Commandment: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and 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).
Here, Jesus identifies the two greatest commandments. Except our love for God, there is nothing more important than our love for others. At one point Jesus reiterated this command and was asked, "Who is my neighbor?" (Luke 10:29 NIV). From Jesus' answer, we know that no one should be excluded from being loved as our neighbor. We are to love and care for others as we love and care for ourselves. This command is easily understood by both believers and non-believers alike, and Jesus quoted it as applicable to everyone who heard his voice. This command was first given by God to Moses in the Law which was designed to govern the lives of His people, Israel (Leviticus 19:18).
However, when Jesus was teaching His disciples prior to His crucifixion, He took love for one another to a whole new level. "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:34-35 NIV). Jesus is saying that, as believers, we should love one another as He has loved us, not as we love ourselves. He has given us a new standard for loving fellow Christians. Only believers can understand what it means to love as Jesus loves, because we have experienced His love first hand. We know what His love is like.
In our own strength, it is impossible to love others as Jesus loves us. But remember, we have God's Holy Spirit living within us and He wants the love of Christ to flow through us and into the lives of others. It is Christ living within us that makes this kind of love possible. "I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:20 NIV).
Here is a good summary of how we should love one another: Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT).
Our ability to love others as Jesus loves us is dependent upon our relationship with Him. Only His Spirit can enable us to adequately love others as Jesus modeled for us. As we learn to love like Jesus, our relationships with others will become more fulfilling and pleasing to God.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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