I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. -Psalm 119:11
By Yodit Kifle Smith
My church has been walking through the book of John for some time now, and I was struck at how truly beautiful Jesus is when we walked through the account where He washed His disciples’ feet and then gave them the commandment to “love one another just as I have loved you” (John 13:31). That’s when I realized something about Jesus and the commandments He gives us:
He has demonstrated them all, first.
I found it funny how we as humans can demand of others what we have NOT demonstrated and yet here is our humble and loving Savior who has sacrificially and lovingly demonstrated what He asks of us.
This command to “love one another” is the ultimate one because every other command is rooted in love.
As we walked through the ways Jesus has demonstrated this love, it was a reminder that this kind of love is IMPOSSIBLE without the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us. This love is otherworldly and it will even cause people to look at us crazy because it’s so against the carnal mind.
Here is a list of the ways our Lord has demonstrates love and how He empowers us by the power of the Holy Spirit to do so:
1. Christ love is eager to ask for forgiveness (James 5:15)
2. Christ’s love is eager to grant forgiveness (Col 3:18)
3. Christ’s love prefers others (Phil 2:3)
4. Christ’s love is willing to confront sin (Gal. 6:1)
5. Christ’s love receives the confrontation of sin by a brother or sister with gratefulness
6. Christ’s love bears the burden of others (Gal6:2 & Ephesians 5:2)
7. Christ’s love is willing to be wronged (1 Cor 6:7)
There’s obviously a more in-depth understanding of each one of these but it’s without a doubt that we aren’t able to do this without His help. The truth that God’s love has been poured out into us so that we could love like this is an encouragement that we desperately need !(Romans 5)
The world will see this kind of love and be shocked but they will see this kind of love and ask how?
How are you able to forgive when you’ve been hurt so badly?
How are you not wanting to take revenge?
How are you able to serve in ways when you aren’t served?
How are you able to extend grace after they’ve shown you who they really are?
These questions open the door to give an answer to the way we’ve been loved by God in Christ and serve as a witness to Him. It gives us the opportunity to point to the ONE who enables us to love like this.
As we continue growing in our walk with the Lord, let’s make sure we are shedding the carnal definition of love and living from God’s definition of love.
The weekly devotionals seek to encourage you to dig deeper into Scripture as you take the time to daily read, meditate, and internalize the verses in the devotional, along with the passages provided below to give greater context. Take the time to read them throughout the week (repetition is important) and ask the Holy Spirit to help you grasp what God is showing you about Himself, about you, and how to live in light of these truths.
Passages to read/memorize/meditate:John 13
Questions to Reflect on: