“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:12
Jesus commanded, not asked, His followers to love others as He had loved them. How did Jesus love? He loved in word and deed. He loved in the big and the small. He loved intentionally and eternally. He loved effectively. He loved by spending time with people. He loved by meeting physical needs. He loved by forgiving. He loved by always revealing the Father. He loved boldly, truthfully, and humbly. He loved by serving. He loved through His sacrifice on the cross.
Who did Jesus love? He loved His parents. He loved His family. He loved His friends. He loved the twelve that He called. He loved the three that He drew closer. He loved the masses. He loved the crowds. He loved the paralytic and the blind. He loved the prostitute, tax collector, and the leper. He loved His enemies. He loved children. He loved widows and orphans. He supremely loved His Father.
A Communist officer once told a Christian he was beating, “I am almighty, as you suppose your God to be. I can kill you.” The Christian answered, “The power is all on my side. I can love you while you torture me to death.” As recipients of God’s love, Christians have the incredible capacity to love others. This capacity is not of the natural will… but from God’s power. Because He has loved us, saved us, and given us His Spirit in all His power, we are free to love.
We are compelled by His love to love others. We are equipped through His Word to love others. We are commanded by His Son to love others. And we are able through His Spirit to love—even as Christ has loved us. So, the next time you find it hard to love someone, remember how Christ has loved you. Let His love for you motivate you in your love for others.
Prayer: Father, Thank You for freeing me to love others, even when it is hard. It is amazing to think that I have Your power to love… but I must choose to use it. Please don’t ever let me become arrogant. Help me to humbly remember the love and grace You have shown me when I did not deserve it. Teach me to rely on Your strength to love others just as You have loved me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.