God's command to love one another
Can you recall a time when someone went out of their way to be kind to you? Perhaps you were having a bad day and a friend showed up with a tub of your favourite ice cream. Maybe a co-worker saw that you were swamped with work one day and offered to lend you a hand. Or maybe you were waiting in line at the grocery store and someone in front of you let you take their place. When we experience selfless acts of love, we are often so touched by them that we’re moved to do the same for others. We love hearing stories of people paying it forward or showing random acts of kindness. As Christians who have encountered the amazing love of Jesus, we too can pay it forward. God not only expects us to shower others with love but we’re actually commanded to do so that they too can experience Christ’s love for them.
My command is this: love each other as I have loved you.
While love can be expressed in many different ways, this remains true of love—that it always gives and seeks to benefit another. You see, love is not merely a feeling or an emotion but it is ultimately an action. It involves effort on our part and often costs us something, whether it’s our time, energy or resources. Indeed, we see the greatest form of love exemplified in the life of Jesus, who descended from all glory and power in Heaven to humbly serve us and pay the ultimate sacrifice by laying down His life for us. It is by accepting God’s great love for us that we are then given the fruit of love that comes from the Holy Spirit that comes to live within us when we are saved. Even though we have the capacity to love like Christ, we still need to make a conscious effort to demonstrate our love to others through our words and actions. We do that by treating others the way we would want to be treated.
Do you want to know the best way to bring people into the Kingdom of God? Loving like Jesus. In a world where there is no shortage of broken and hurting people, the cure is love—not just any love but Christ’s love demonstrated through our behaviour as Christians. Jesus said that this would be the way that the world would know that we are His disciples—by our love walk. While talk is cheap, the world needs to see real love in action, which is impossible to maintain long-term without a relationship with Jesus. When people see genuine love lavished on them, they see God in us. As Christians, we are commanded to live our lives so filled with Christ’s love that it points others back to Him.
Would others characterize you as someone who is led by love? If not, it may be time to take an honest look at your love walk and deepen your understanding of what it means to walk in the love of Christ. One of the best ways to do that is to study the life of Jesus in the Bible, take note of how He showed love to others and then go out and do the same! Ask God to reveal to you how you can be a blessing in someone’s life and then act on it. Become addicted to doing little acts of love for others—whether it be a family member, a friend, a co-worker or even a random stranger that you encounter. You will find that it doesn’t take much to put a smile on someone’s face. As you begin to bless others, you too will be blessed.