They will know us by our love.
34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
John 13:34-35 (NLT)
People. Life is full of them. Some are easy to love, and some take a little more effort. I’ve been both encouraged and challenged by this commandment in my own walk. Choosing to love others shouldn’t be a ‘because I have to’ response – this approach will never be sustainable when we come into contact with those who may hurt us or rub us the wrong way. Choosing to love others as Jesus has loved us should come out of a heart of obedience and overflow.
I’m learning that the first step in loving others well is to learn how to love myself. From that place of loving myself as Jesus loved me, I walk into the obedience of choosing to love others. Even when I don’t feel like. Especially when it’s hard. In those moments, I ask Jesus to fill my heart with His love for people. When my love tank may feel empty – He has an uncontainable supply ready and waiting to fill me up to overflow.
Why is loving one another so important?
When we love others well, we are following Jesus’ example; allowing the Lord to mold us and shape us to be more like Him. In John 13:35 Jesus reveals to us that the world will know that we are His disciples by the way we love. His ambassadors. His children. His hands and feet. I want those around me to look at my life, and the way that I love, and see Jesus in me. By seeing Jesus in me, my desire is that they will want to know more about who He is, and the power of His transformational love.
I hope that you are not only challenged into action by Jesus’ words, but also encouraged that loving others well is possible through Him. It’s not in our own strength – it’s through the wonder working power of Jesus Christ that we ourselves are loved and that we can love others.
Thank You for your love for me. Help to me to be able to receive Your love, let it permeate the deepest places of my heart. I want to be obedient to your Word and love the people around me well. I want them to see You in me through the way that I love.
I ask that Your love for people fill my heart, so that even in the moments when it’s hard I can rely on Your strength and Your love to overflow from me to this world.