Loving One Another Well

“This is My commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.” (John 15:12 NLT)

If, in the closing hours of Jesus’ life, He commanded us to love each other, we must conclude it was foremost on His mind. He even told us how to do it: “in the same way I have loved you.” So, the logical question then becomes – How did Jesus love us?

Prayerfully, the Spirit will take these words and use them to light a fire in our hearts that will enable us to love each other, as the Body of Christ, more effectively. So, let’s look at a few ways Jesus loves us.

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  1. Jesus loves us FREELY! What does that mean? He doesn’t force us to follow Him. His love for us isn’t contingent upon whether we continue to follow Him. In John 6 Jesus was teaching some very hard things to understand, and, as a result, many of His followers turned away. In verse 67 Jesus turned to the Twelve, His closest companions in ministry, and asked them: “Are you also going to leave?” implying they could leave if they chose. To which Peter wisely responded: “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.” What’s my point? Love doesn’t demand its own way. Love doesn’t coerce or force allegiance. Love draws and lays down its life for others without any strings attached. Jesus didn’t love us “if” or “when.” He loves us period! That’s how we’re to love each other as His faithful followers.
  2. Jesus loves us FULLY! He loves us without reservation. He holds nothing back in His love for us. He gave His life. Then after He conquered the grave, He gave us His Spirit to dwell within us, giving us full access to everything Jesus is, and empowering us to do whatsoever He commands us to do (i.e. – “Love each other…”). We love each other only in the strength of the Spirit that indwells us. The Spirit gives us discernment to know when a brother or sister is genuinely born again (of the Spirit), thus inviting us to trust one another and give ourselves fully to one another.
  3. Jesus loves us FAITHFULLY! There were those who quit on Him, but He never quit on others, including you and me! Faithful means “trustworthy,” “reliable,” someone who’s word matters and is believable – just like the words of Jesus! Faithful love is “full-time” love. It isn’t on-and-off, it’s dependable. One of my Pastors likes to say we need to be “2 a.m.” friends, meaning, we can know that if someone I’m seeking to love like Jesus calls me at 2 a.m. and needs my help, I’m there. That’s one of the many ways loving faithfully can look.
  4. Jesus loves us FRUITFULLY! In John 15:5 Jesus said: “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in Me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing.” Then in verse 8 He says: “When you produce much fruit, you are My true disciples. This brings great glory to My Father.” The “fruit” of our love for one another will bring much glory to the Father. How so? “Fruit” in this context is speaking to the effectiveness of our collective obedience to the directives of the Spirit. It’s putting into action the gifts and abilities with which we’ve been given, to the honor and fame of our Savior. Spiritual gifts are never given for our personal edification or glory, but to be blended with the gifts of other believers so that collectively we can paint with our lives a picture of our living, loving Savior.

Just as Jesus revealed to His disciples, and us, the glory of the Father – He painted for us a “picture” of the Father. He WAS on earth the embodiment of the Father. Paul wrote in Colossians 1:19: “For God in all His fullness was pleased to live in Christ.” That’s what He’s asking us to be for Him. In John 17:22-23: “I have given them (us) the glory you gave Me (WHY?), so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and You are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that You sent Me and that You love them as much as You love Me.”

How can the world possibly know that God the Father sent Jesus? When we begin to grasp the fact that God the Father loves us (YOU and ME) AS MUCH AS HE LOVES JESUS! To the extent we understand how much we’re loved, to that extent we’ll love one another well!

Blessings, Ed 😊

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