Posts Tagged ‘Love One Another


The Old/New Commandment

If we are going to live as Jesus did, we have to live a life of love. Jesus told His disciples repeatedly to “love one another.” The apostles passed this command on to the early church. John wrote:

Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. 8 Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. – 1 John 2:7-8 (NIV)

The commandment to love your neighbor as yourself is found in the Old Testament and Jesus reiterated it in the Gospels. But Jesus did not merely tell His followers to love one another, He demonstrated this kind of love. To live as Jesus lived is to love people – ALL people – as you love yourself. When we have this unconditional love for the world in our hearts, then we will truly be living as Jesus lived.

The Tidal Wave Of God’s Love

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

13 We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17 In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. – 1 John 4:7-21 (NIV)

In the last part of 1 John 4, the Apostle John really defines his theology of love.  Look at what he says:
  • Love comes from God (vs. 7)
  • Those who love are born of God (vs. 7)
  • Those who love know God (vs. 7)
  • God is love (vv. 8 and 16)
  • God demonstrated His love for us by sending His Son (vs. 9)
  • Love begins with God sending Jesus (vs. 10)
  • Because God loved us, we ought to love one another (vs. 11)
  • If we love, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us (vs. 12)
  • If you live in love, you live in God (vs. 16)
  • God’s love drives out fear (vs. 17)
  • If we love God, we must love our brothers and sisters in Christ (vs. 21)

Whew!  That’s a whole lot of love!  John makes it very clear, though, that God is love.  His love is perfect and unconditional.  Our love for each other must mirror God’s love for us.  We should love one another unconditionally.  This is how we know that we are truly filled with God’s love.  When His love overflows out of our lives to those around us, His love is made complete in us.  We cannot claim to be filled with God’s love and not love those around us.  Why?  Because God’s love is like a river that has swollen over its banks.  It is like a tidal wave.  It’s like a bathtub when someone forgets to turn off the water.  It just keeps pouring forth out of His heart into our hearts.  So don’t try to hold back the power of His love.  Receive His love today and pass it on.  It is only when we love others that the circle of God’s love is complete.  He loves us and we love others and we all love God in return.

So how can you show someone some unconditional love today?  Perhaps it is apologizing to someone you’ve hurt.  Maybe you need to forgive someone who hurt you.  Could you show an act of kindness to someone who really needs it?  What about mowing your elderly neighbor’s lawn on a hot day?  Maybe it is surprising a young family with some free babysitting so mom and dad can have a night out.  Buy some flowers for your spouse or a nice card that expresses your love for your husband or wife.  Think of one act of love and kindness you can do today to demonstrate your love for someone else.  Let them experience God’s love through you.

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