Saturday, November 5, 2011

Abiding in Christ - Day 26 - Showing Love to Fellow Believers

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. ~John 15:12
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. ~John 15:9 


Jesus gave His disciples a new commandment, the great evidence of the reality of the new covenant, the one convincing and indisputable token of discipleship:  LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” ~John 13:34;:35

that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. ~John 17:21-23 

Jesus lived this life of love perfectly.  Look at His life.  It was one of

  • self-abasement
  • self-sacrifice
  • love to the unworthy
  • love to the ungrateful
  • humble Servanthood
  • giving Himself to death on a cross
Believers who gaze at Christ and live in Him are witnesses to the incredible Love that gave itself to die.  He is our example, and He wants us to love like He did.

"Christians are to prove that love has made them members of one body and of one another, and has taught them each to forget and to sacrifice self for the sake of the other."                          ~Andrew Murray, p. 159, Abiding in Christ

God brings into our lives the exact people that we are to love.  Do you have a difficult husband, and impossible child, an immoral relative, a nasty neighbour?  God has placed that person within your sphere of influence for His good purposes.

If you love God, you'll love others.

"Love to fellow believers is the flower and fruit of the root, unseen in the heart, of love to God."

We are in the School of Love

We live with a bunch of self-centered sinners if we live in an ordinary family.  This is where the Lord teaches us how to love the unlovable.  In interaction with a demanding toddler or hormonal youth, we are being trained to love.  This training expands to our being strengthened to love those who are as yet outside of Christ, not just with things you can agree on (like the weather or politics), but with a holy love that bears with the most disagreeable for Jesus' sake.

Study Jesus.  How did He love?

  • forgiveness 70 times 7; He even forgave those who crucified Him.
  • unwearied patience; He taught His disciples by example and word.
  • infinite humility; He left His exalted position to be a Humble Servant.

How do you feel about this glorious calling to love like Christ?

Does your heart leap at this unspeakable privilege of showing the likeness of eternal love to others?  Or do you sigh at the thought that you will never be able to demonstrate love the way our Saviour did?

The truth is, you can't do it.  Not in your own strength.  

Yet you are commanded to love like Christ.

The only way to do so is to fully abide in Him.  As you do so, you will love others with a love that is not your own.  Jesus' love will shine through you.  He can make you gentle and patient.  He can keep a watch over your lips so that every word that proceeds from your mouth is uplifting and kind.  He can give you a gentle spirit that refuses to take offense and is always willing to believe the best of others.

"Let the love that seeks not its own, but is always ready to wash others' feet, or even to give its life for them, be our aim as we abide in Jesus.  Let our life be one of self-sacrifice, always studying the welfare of others, finding our highest joy in blessing others.  And let us, in studying the divine art of doing good, yield ourselves as obedient learners to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  By His grace, the most commonplace life can be transformed with the brightness of heavenly beauty, as the infinite love of the divine nature shines out through our frail humanity."~Andrew Murray, Abiding in Christ, p. 161

Love one another, as I have loved you. 


Remember that you will give an account for every word. Respond with wisdom and grace, please.