A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34 (NIV)
In a world that is full of angst and anxiety, where voices desire to be heard and differences divide, it is only the love of Christ that heals and unifies.
Amy Grant, one of my favorite singer/songwriters, wrote a song called “Grown-up Christmas List.” She writes:
The last part of this chorus, “and love would never end,” always speaks so loudly to me.
This verse, “Love one another,” has been quoted many times and is one that many remember. So often we choose just to read the “love one another,” and not the part that says, “as I have loved you, so you must love one another.” It is easy to love those who are like us, who share the same beliefs and values. Loving others is hard when they are different from us, and/or their beliefs and values are in opposition to ours. The command is for us to love as Christ has loved us, sacrificially and selflessly.
“We love because He first loved us,” 1 John 4:19. God, in His great mercy, loved us before we ever loved Him. He loved us when we were rebelling against Him, when we didn’t believe in Him, and when we didn’t value what was right and holy. How can it be that those who are beloved by God, justified by faith, and redeemed by His grace would not love others?
This season, as we continue to prepare our hearts for the celebration of Christ’s birth, let us remember the unimaginable love that was given to us. It is a love that we didn’t deserve, but that God so graciously gave; love that we didn’t earn, but that is lavished on us. When we love those who don’t love us, we are showing them the love of Christ. Jesus was a living example of God’s love, as we are to be a living example of His love.
In a world where people are hurting, searching and worried, let’s live out this command to love others so that “love would never end.”
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Action Item |
Is there someone you know that could use the love of Christ? Be that friend for them.
Dear Father, I am so undeserving of Your love, but I am so humbled by it. Please forgive me when I don’t love those You have called me to love. Amen.
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