We are continuing our Foundations series, where we examine how our foundation of faith impacts the details of our living, and would love for you to share these devotionals with your friends if it impacted you.
The Discipleship of Love
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you. John 13:34
Time is short. Jesus in his final days knew His time with His disciples was coming to an end. Before He left them to take the road none could walk with Him, Jesus gave them one final command – to love others as He had loved them. Jesus doesn’t call His disciples to some syrupy, gooey, touchy, freely affection for humanity. Jesus reminds them of the way He had loved them.
Jesus’ love is SELFLESS
Often at the back of our love for others is “what will this love do for me.” We are thinking of the benefits and consequences. It’s our own personal happiness and safety we are thinking of first, but Jesus never thought of Himself. His one desire was to give Himself and all He had for those He loved.
Jesus’ love SACRIFICES
There was no demand that could be made on the love of Jesus that was too much. If love meant the cross, then Jesus was prepared to go there. We mistakenly believe that love is meant to bring only happiness, but love may bring pain, and demand we carry a cross.
Jesus’ love UNDERSTANDS
Jesus lived and traveled with His disciples. He knew their weaknesses, insecurities and yet, He loved them. True love is not blind. Love’s eyes are wide open. Real love doesn’t love based on imagination, but on the reality of what is. The heart of Jesus is enough to love us as we are, He understands why we are the way we are.
Jesus’ love FORGIVES
Though the disciples had been with Jesus throughout His ministry, they never understood Him. They were insensitive, slow to learn and lacked understanding. In the end, they were cowards. Eventually, all the disciples would forsake Jesus in His hour of need, but Jesus held nothing against them. There was no failure which He could not forgive.
Any other love, except the love like Jesus’, can only shrivel and die. For this reason, all our life must be built on the enduring love of Jesus.
Using these four characteristics as the baseline of your love, how well are you loving those in your life? What are the areas in which you could improve?