Love.

Those four letters make a really BIG word.

Seriously…when we’re dating love seems easy.  Later when we get married…sometimes love isn’t so easy.

And then there’s that co-worker.  You know the one.  Seriously…who could love someone with that attitude?

Or what about the neighbor whose dog leaves presents in your front yard, for you to step in, every day.

We’re supposed to love those people.

“I give you a new command: Love each other.
You must love each other as I have loved you.
All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other.”

John 13:34-35 NCV

What’s interesting, is that in this verse Jesus wasn’t referring to family, or co-workers, or neighbors.  He’s referring to those who are a part of the body of Christ.  Other Christ followers.

 

How do you want to be remembered? ::  Love each other - John 13:34-35 :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

Recently I entered a ministry name into the Google search engine.  The ministry I was looking for came out on top of the search results as expected.  The number two result was, “Why I don’t follow Christian X any more.” I have a fair amount of respect for Christian X.  He is wise, well-studied in the Bible, and challenges me in my spiritual walk.  So, of course, I had to check out what this blogger had to say about Christian X.  I should not have done that.  The Christian blogger’s writings and the interchange between those who commented, all who were self-righteously tearing down other Christians, left me wounded and feeling icky for weeks.  It was as if I had gone to an ‘X-rated’ movie (which I have never done!!) and was being assaulted with bad images.  It felt awful.

So as I read this verse….

“I give you a new command: Love each other.
You must love each other as I have loved you.
All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other.”

John 13:34-35 NCV

I thought about the exchange of accusations I read on that blog.  If I felt awful, how awful does Jesus feel to have paid such a price for us and to see believers treat each other this way?

That is one example of our words of un-love being played out in the media for the whole world to see.

Let’s take it down to a more personal level, I have experienced both ends of the love spectrum with other believers.

The one thing that I have always thought about is verse 35…

All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other.”

I truly believe that caring for the orphan, the widow, the poor, and fighting for justice in a broken world are important.

But I wonder, if we were to love each other….really love each other…would all of these issues be the great big issues they are today? Would we see so much hurt, abuse, disrespect, selfishness, etc., among believers?  It’s sad to say, Christians, for the most part, don’t look much different than those who worship another god.

John 13:34-35 ~ Maundy Thursday Mediation on the "new" commandment :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net

Today, as I was reading and spending some quiet time in mediation and reflection I realized, for the first time, that this NEW commandment that Jesus gave was given on Thursday, just before he would give his life for you and me.

I doubt very much that I am capable of giving my life for someone else, outside of a supernatural touch from God.   What I do know is that I can work a lot harder at loving fellow believers like Jesus loved me.

Will it always be comfortable to love like this?  Absolutely not.  Life will get sticky or worse.  There will be stress and prickly feelings when we go outside our comfort zones to love like Jesus.

When we choose to love each other like Jesus something amazing will happen.

Better than knocking people over the head with a Bible, or spouting off the “Four Spiritual Laws” or the “Romans Road” to tell people about Jesus, is demonstrating his love by loving our fellow brother or sister in Christ.

This love stuff isn’t easy.  It doesn’t always come with good feelings.  And sometimes it comes at great sacrifice.

When we love a fellow believer, non believers will know we are Christians….and that is what will attract them to Christ.

I bet that when we get better at loving fellow believers, we’ll be better at loving family, neighbors, and co-workers, too.

Scripture verse ::  John 13:34 :: Love each other :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net

On Maundy Thursday Jesus gave a life-changing commandment with a promise.

A promise that we will be known by our love for each other.

When it’s all over, do you want your tombstone to say you were a great dancer?  Baked the best cakes?  Grew the most beautiful flowers? Dressed impeccably? Decorated a home like no other?  Or loved?

How do you want to be remembered?  

The one thing that Jesus left us with is the knowledge that he loved us so much that he gave his life for us.   What an example.

Would you join me in praying to check those self-righteous or selfish attitudes
that get in the way of loving each other?

How do you want to be remembered? :: Maundy Thursday ::Meditation AnExtraordinaryDay.net

It was almost time for the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that it was time for him to leave this world
and go back to the Father. He had always loved those who were his own in the world, and he loved them
all the way to the end.  John 13:1

Jesus and his followers were at the evening meal.  John 13:2a

So during the meal Jesus stood up and took off his outer clothing. Taking a towel, he wrapped it
around his waist.  Then he poured water into a bowl and began to wash the followers’ feet,
drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.  John 13:3-5

If I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash each other’s feet.
I did this as an example so that you should do as I have done for you.  John 13:14-15

“I give you a new command: Love each other. You must love each other as I have loved you.
All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other.”  John 13:34-35

I have read these verses in the long account of the last supper many times, but somehow never grasped the significance of when Jesus uttered these words.

“I give you a new command: Love each other.
You must love each other as I have loved you.
All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other.”

John 13:34-35 NCV

The when elevates their importance even more.  And, for me, gives Maundy Thursday an extra measure of new meaning.

This holy week is a good time for some soul-searching.  Are you making a little extra time for reading and meditation?  Let me encourage you to take the time.  Tomorrow’s Friday….but Sunday’s coming!!  And believe me the Resurrection Celebration will truly be a celebration after this time of remembrance and contemplation.

 

May all people know and remember us as Jesus’ followers
because we love each other.


Thank you for stopping by today.

I appreciate you and your sweet comments make my day.

Diane

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Comments

  1. Diane, Thank you so much for today’s post. It has touched my heart beautifully. Let us remember to love one another!

  2. Debbi Saunders says:

    Hi Diane,
    Just before I read your post I had been sitting here thinking of what it must have been like for Jesus at that last supper~~~Although I have known the Easter Story my whole life; this year I am seeing it through different eyes, with more clarity. Like it has just finally sunk in!..maybe it is because I have become more spiritually mature in this last year!
    Thanks for your timely post….
    Debbi

  3. This was shared so beatuifully, and so honestly. I dare say, when I cross paths with such bigotry, I get horribly sad. I can’t help but envision G-d becoming sad at how we give ourselves permission to treat each other.
    I stuggle in the ‘loving’ department, but I’ll persevere…my only other option is to become ‘that’….and that’s jst not how G-d made me. Blessings to you and yours.
    Mel recently posted..New Artwork in the Coffee Nook!!My Profile

  4. Diane, thank you for passing along these words from Christ – truth we all need to be reminded of regularly. And, you did it respectfully, honestly, and in love!
    Blessings,
    Kim
    Kim recently posted..New Life on EasterMy Profile

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