“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one 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, New King James Version).
There is a telltale sign that shows when we truly are a disciple of the Lord. It’s a simple four-letter word: love. But there is nothing simple about it. Search for it in a Bible app, and the word will come up more than 300 to 500 times, depending on the translation used. There’s an entire chapter of the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13, devoted to describing its characteristics.
The word love is sprinkled throughout our conversation multiple times each day. I just love your new outfit. Don’t you love that restaurant’s chocolate cheesecake? I love taking a drive in the country to relax. Oh, I love that birthday gift you gave me. None of these uses hold the same meaning as the love Jesus says we should show. Notice that little phrase “as I have loved you” tucked into the middle of the above verses. He wants our love for each other to be just like His.
So how does one love like Jesus loves? Such love is difficult to comprehend and to describe. Ephesians 3:19 says it “passes knowledge.” Our finite minds cannot fully understand infinite love. We can, however, look at how the Lord demonstrated His love toward us. John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Most of us will never face a situation in which we can save someone’s life by giving ours. That is what Jesus did. We can, however, love powerfully enough that we are willing to offer our all.
How do we describe the love of God? I’m not sure I can ever put it into words but what immediately come to mind is selflessly and sacrificially. These are words we can do our best to emulate. We can live selflessly and sacrificially.
Prayer: Lord, I don’t think my mind will ever be able to comprehend the great love You showed when You took my place on Calvary. You bore my guilt and my shame in the most unimaginably horrible way. Thank You for this great love You showed for me and all mankind. Now, help me to learn to love selflessly and sacrificially so that others can see the power of Your love through me. In Your name I pray.