LOVE LIKE I LOVE YOU

John…on Love

People humanly love each other in odd ways. Some show it by doing romantic things for each other. Some are all huggy…even in public…to the point of awkwardness for others around them. Some will rarely utter the words, but would give you the shirt from their backs if you needed it. We have heard many times that love is a verb…of action.

Some love you as long as you give them all they want from you until your reserve is empty, then they walk away and find someone else to drain. I don’t think love was meant to be exhausting! Some love for the selfish good feeling it gives them. Many love…with conditions. What is perfect love? What is love that can be trusted through all circumstances? Maybe the question does not begin with what, but Who.

As we wrap up chapter 13, Judas has left the table of Christ, to complete his act of betrayal. (And remember, Jesus “showed the full extent of his love” by bending down to wash the feet of ALL his disciples…even Judas.) After he left, Jesus explains perfect, unconditional love. Love like I love you.

John 13, The Message
A New Command
31-32 When he had left, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is seen for who he is, and God seen for who he is in him. The moment God is seen in him, God’s glory will be on display. In glorifying him, he himself is glorified—glory all around!

33 “Children, I am with you for only a short time longer. You are going to look high and low for me. But just as I told the Jews, I’m telling you: ‘Where I go, you are not able to come.’

34-35 “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”

36 Simon Peter asked, “Master, just where are you going?”

Jesus answered, “You can’t now follow me where I’m going. You will follow later.”

37 “Master,” said Peter, “why can’t I follow now? I’ll lay down my life for you!”

38 “Really? You’ll lay down your life for me? The truth is that before the rooster crows, you’ll deny me three times.”

We are not Jesus, but we can love like Jesus if we allow Jesus to take up residence in our hearts, minds and souls. It begins with our love for Jesus, growing in a relationship with HIM first. The more we realize and accept the love He as for us, the more we grow in our love for others. In other words, the measure of love we accept from Jesus, that same measure is used in loving others. So, the more we realize His love for us, the more we love others.

“A new command”, says Jesus. “Love like I love you.”

John, the beloved disciple, also later relates, “My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love.

This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.” 1 John 4: 7-10, The Message

Many confuse this unconditional love with approval of each others’ deeds and actions. We do not have to approve of each others’ actions to love them dearly, like God loves us. Does HE approve of all our actions? Absolutely not, we are all sinners who fall short of His glory, but we are loved completely…if we believe in His love for us and continue to live for Him as He lives in us.

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Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for loving us so dearly. You don’t need us but You want us. To be wanted and loved so much that You sent Your Son to love and save us by dying for our sin, forever, once and for all, is beyond my human thinking, but I accept it. And I love You back. I love my husband like You love me. I love my kids and grandkids like you love me. I love those you put in my pathway every day…like you love me.

Thank you for teaching me to love. Thank you for living in me, guiding me in unconditional love. Forgive us when we stray from Your kind of love and rely only on our conditional love. We trust only in You for perfect love that has no bounds or limits.
In Jesus Name, Amen

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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