In an age where everyone has distinguished themselves with a personal brand, where corporations work to advance their corporate brand, they spend billions on tag lines, mission statements and catch phrases. They do this all in hope you will buy what they are selling. The church, however, is not a brand or strategy to be bought and sold. The church's defining mark, its sole motivation, is wrapped up in one word – LOVE. “And they shall know us by our love.” It is why we worship, it's why we care, it's why we plant churches, so that others will know the love of Christ. This week’s devos drill down on the topic of love. It's our prayer that you soak it in, and live it out. Also, let others know about our daily devos.
Love One Another
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
The cross was never meant to be a shiny, gold, diamond-encrusted fashion accessory to complement an ensemble, or a signal of personal wealth. If this were the only requirement for discipleship, then anyone can do it. The true mark of a Christian is love for others.
Jesus’ new commandment was a new way of loving. The commandment of the Old Testament said, "Love your neighbor," but the new said, "Love your enemies." It called for a higher degree of love. This heavenly declaration was designed to be obeyed in a new way – through divine power made possible by the work of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus’ commandment to love one another as He loves us is very challenging. Sometimes people are not very lovable, or they do outrageous and malicious things. What about the hard to love? Are we supposed to love them?
In order to obey this commandment, we must love indiscriminately, just as Jesus loves. We are to love the people He puts in our family, our neighborhood, our church, our workplace, and our lives.
God can help us love when we ask Him to enable us to see past people’s attitudes or behaviors, to see people as God sees them. In response to this prayer, God can make it much easier for us to love people through our prayers, actions, and words. After all, we have been commanded to love and not to judge other people.
Examine yourself. Are you showing love to others? Are you at the point where you can pray for people whom others have judged or shunned? With one of them in mind, pray this prayer:
Jesus, I ask for your help in praying for this person. I know that You love him or her, so I need to love him or her as well. Open my eyes to see the person as You do. Also open my eyes to see You, Jesus, and open my heart to receive Your love so I may share it with others. In Jesus’ name. Amen