“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”
John 13:34-35 MSG
“Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.”
Ephesians 4:26-27 MSG
How is your love meter or should I say love tank? Is it half empty, half full, running over or depleted? I’d like to say it’s running over but I wouldn’t be telling the truth. None of us are loving all of the time. Walking in love is one of life’s greatest challenges. Someone or something always stands in the way of perfect love. Jesus knew this when He asked Peter three times, “Do you love Me?” He knew that when He addressed a deceiver as “friend” He knew that when He told His disciples to love as He had loved them. But He also knew the struggle we would have loving each other. He had to step in and prevent a brawl among the twelve, because two asked for a promotion when Jesus returns to earth. I’m being serious! They even had their momma put in a good word. The other ten went nuts! Jesus had to teach His first class on leadership and humility. He told them they were acting like the godless leaders. That had to hurt. No one wanted to be called the “P” word. I know some of you are like, “ show us where that happened? We don’t believe you! Lol go do your own research, I’m telling you it happened. Trust me! doubting Thomas’s I’ll prove it🤦♀️
“It was about that time that the mother of the Zebedee brothers came with her two sons and knelt before Jesus with a request. “What do you want?” Jesus asked. She said, “Give your word that these two sons of mine will be awarded the highest places of honor in your kingdom, one at your right hand, one at your left hand. “Jesus responded, “You have no idea what you’re asking.” And He said to James and John, “Are you capable of drinking the cup that I’m about to drink?” They said, “Sure, why not?””
“Jesus said, “Come to think of it, you are going to drink my cup. But as to awarding places of honor, that’s not my business. My Father is taking care of that.””
“When the ten others heard about this, they lost their tempers, thoroughly disgusted with the two brothers. So Jesus got them together to settle things down. He said, “You’ve observed how godless rulers throw their weight around, how quickly a little power goes to their heads. It’s not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for the many who are held hostage.” Now your job is to find out where the account is recorded 😁
Loving each other all the time is hard work! I guess that was a part of the plan.
This would become the Achilles heel of all of mankind. We have not yet discovered that as children of God, we have been made from Love to love. Jesus even tried to make it less of a challenge by telling us to love others like we love ourselves. But that too became its on test. Most of us don’t know, and haven’t been taught how to love ourselves. It’s difficult to give out of that which you do not already possess.
I had to pray earnestly to the Lord to teach me how to love. To love myself as well as others. I shared in an earlier message how I was laughed at and ridiculed. I was told how black I was compared to my siblings, how nappy my hair was compared to my siblings, I was called names no twelve year old girl should be called. I was deeply wounded, not by a Caucasian caregiver but by my black family member. So loving like I love myself came strictly from and through my new birth experience in Jesus Christ. Man destroyed me, but Jesus’ love put me back together. Hallelujah! He gave me beauty for ashes! Hallelujah!!
One of the things I’ve come to appreciate about my walk with Jesus is, He never asks us to do anything He hasn’t equipped us to do. He says this in 1 John 4:7-12 “Dear friends, we must love each other because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born from God and knows God. The person who doesn’t love doesn’t know God, because God is love. God has shown us His love by sending His only Son into the world so that we could have life through Him. This is love: not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the payment for our sins. Dear friends, if this is the way God loved us, we must also love each other. No one has ever seen God. If we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.”
These verses implies that we are indeed capable of loving each other as long as we remain in the love of God. So when we choose to honor the flesh, we walk out of the ability to give love to all men. Listen to 1 John 2:9-10 “Those who say that they are in the light but hate other believers are still in the dark. Those who love other believers live in the light. Nothing will destroy the faith of those who live in the light. Nothing will destroy us when we live in love.
With all that has been happening in our country and the world, we need to be careful that as the body of Christ of all races, we’re not becoming a part of the problem instead of a part of the solution. The entire world has one big problem that most are ignoring; it’s what the apostle John refers to as “darkness” that darkness is SIN! Where there’s no fear of God or man there is recklessness, chaos and hatred. The Bible says in 1 John 5:17 ALL unrighteousness is SIN! We like to categorize them, but God says “ALL” simply put; where the love of God is absent, we’ll see each other as enemies, instead of brothers and sisters, no matter the color of our houses.
I would like to invite you to read 1, 2 and 3 John found in the New Testament.
The word love in all forms appears in the Bible over 700 or more times depending on translation. So it’s obvious that loving each other matters to God. He showed us love by demonstrating that true love requires sacrifice. Giving up our right to be right. Loving when it is not even reciprocated. In two words; Loving first. This love, loves those who persecute us. We saw that live on display in a courtroom, where the brother of a victim asked the judge if he could hug the accused, thereby offering her forgiveness through his loss. That was not well received by the darkness. The judge a Christian, offered the accused a Bible and a hug and was immediately condemned by the darkness.
Love has no boundaries or limitations. Love does not choose its subjects. Love doesn’t have a right time right place. Love is all the time in every place for everyone. For God so loved the WORLD! Not a race of people or denomination. He made us ALL in His Image. We’re just focusing on the outward instead of the real us, who we are on the inside. The color of the paint on the outside is irrelevant, what we’re witnessing now, is what the real us looks like and is capable of, without godly restraint. How we love, goes deeper than why we love. Love is taught. Loving ourselves and others is taught through early interactions with people who love.
All early education begins in the home. So what are we teaching or what have we been taught? As children of the Light, we must take our instruction from the Word of God. I will share a few more scriptures to close this very important topic.
It’s impossible to love a God we cannot see and hate our fellowman who we can see. 1 John 4:20
James 1:19-20 “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
“If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“Love is patient. Love is kind. Love isn’t jealous. It doesn’t sing its own praises. It isn’t arrogant. It isn’t rude. It doesn’t think about itself. It isn’t irritable. It doesn’t keep track of wrongs. It isn’t happy when injustice is done, but it is happy with the truth. Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up.”
““You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you this: Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. In this way you show that you are children of your Father in heaven. He makes His sun rise on people whether they are good or evil. He lets rain fall on them whether they are just or unjust. If you love those who love you, do you deserve a reward? Even the tax collectors do that! Are you doing anything remarkable if you welcome only your friends? Everyone does that! That is why you must be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
1 John 4:17-18 “God’s love has reached its goal in us. So we look ahead with confidence to the day of judgment. While we are in this world, we are exactly like him ⌊with regard to love⌋. No fear exists where His love is. Rather, perfect love gets rid of fear, because fear involves punishment. The person who lives in fear doesn’t have perfect love.”
I pray that we will continue to pursue Biblical love, God’s love. We are incapable of loving purely and sacrificially without truly experiencing the love God has for us through Christ Jesus. His life in us makes us more than conquerors. Where we’re weak He’s strong. I’m learning everyday how to love with His love. I’m not where I need to be but I’m on my way. It’s possible with Him. He’s taught me real love. I never had it demonstrated in a healthy way, so it’s been a process. But well worth the journey. I wouldn’t change a thing. I love more today than I ever thought possible, and it’s all because of Christ in me.
No one understands us better than You. You know us inside and out. You know our struggles and failures. You understand our silence as well as our spoken words. You do not judge, but you do chasten those you love. Forgive us for not loving each other as we should. We have allowed personal feelings and emotions to divide us. Teach us to live and love Your way. In Jesus Name. Amen
“We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love other believers. The person who doesn’t grow in love remains in death. Everyone who hates another believer is a murderer, and you know that a murderer doesn’t have eternal life. We understand what love is when we realize that Christ gave his life for us. That means we must give our lives for other believers.” 1 John 3:14-16
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit