August 31, 2021
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (John 13:34)
Most people are stalled in life because they do not know the answer to one question: “Why am I here?” They flounder because the world provides quick and persistent answers. But even when they turn down those roads, they realize quickly that living for ourselves—our pleasure, our comfort, our recognition—is a dead-end street.
Christ comes with stunning clarity. “No,” He says, “Here is the purpose for your life. You are to love God with all your heart, mind, and soul, and then love others.” The word for love He used is “agape.” It is the word that is always used for the love that is only found in one Source. It is the God-quality that always responds in self-sacrifice.
Just so we’re not confused, God takes this love and holds it up like a prism to the light and describes what agape is like in 1 Corinthians 13. This love is everything we are not by nature. As new believers, we may initially understand this purpose but feel utterly incapable of fulfilling such an overwhelming command, particularly when facing difficult people.
Just to clarify further, Jesus adds this definer: “Love one another, EVEN AS I HAVE LOVED YOU.” We might pass the test if He had left out that last phrase. And you can ignore that phrase by not thinking deeply about how Christ loves us.
Scan His earthly days and see how He loved His disciples. He left heaven for them, chose the most humble place when He could have demanded more, pursued them, saved them, taught them, fed them, washed their feet, was patient with their childish immaturity, developed them, and the list goes on. And in the greatest act of love ever recorded, He died, was buried, and rose again for them. Greater love has no man than this.
But this is precisely the kind of love that He demands of us. The only way it is possible is that He knew when He called them to this new, higher commandment that He was going to send the Helper, the Holy Spirit, who would indwell them. All the love any of us ever need is provided in the Christ who comes to live in us at our conversion. We have simply to yield to His promptings, and He will flow through us to others—even to our enemies—with Divine passion.
If you are not loving everyone, JUST LIKE CHRIST, you are missing your birthright and purpose. What are you to do today, and the next and the next till He comes? Love one another, just as He has loved you.
Father, thank You for this high command and that You provide all we need to fulfill it. Thank You for the simple clarity about our purpose. Give us grace to turn from the world’s incessant pull to love the world and the things of the world and to love ourselves supremely. Flow through us with your perfect love to show the world what You are like.
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