‘Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard.’ 1 John 2: 7 (NIV).
The commandment to love others is both old and new. Old because it comes from Leviticus 19:18 in the Old Testament which says, ‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself.
I am the Lord.’ It is new because Jesus interpreted this commandment in a radical new way when He said in John 13: 34, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
Love is now not only expressed by showing respect; it is also expressed through self-sacrifice and servanthood. ‘Greater love has no one than this: that he lay down his life for his friends.’(John 15:13).
We are to love each other as Jesus loved us, and He loved us enough to give His life for us. That is a lot of love! But fret not, as anything is possible through Christ.
We may not have to die for someone, but there are other ways to practice sacrificial love. These may include listening to another, helping, encouraging and giving. This love is defined as ‘selfless giving’ even reaching beyond friends to enemies and persecutors.
‘Holy Spirit help me to love in the same way you helped Jesus to show sacrificial love to others. Please lead me to those who need this new kind of love so that others would be drawn to Christ. Thank you.’
In Jesus’ Mighty Name,
This new kind of love that Jesus taught about in the Scriptures should be the unifying force and the identifying mark of God’s people. It will set us apart as His followers and show the world what God is like.
Our growing relationship with God will result in us growing in this new kind of love. Who can we think of that who needs this sacrificial love today? Let’s ask the Spirit of God to help us give all the love we can and then a little bit more.
Be Greatly Blessed!