For the joy of knowing and experiencing You, thank You, Papa God!
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You’ve been saying to Your people for a long time that You value the obedience to that command (“love one another”) just after the one to “Love the Lord Your God with all Your heart, soul, mind and strength.” Here in this passage You used John’s pen to show this phrase “love one another” conveyed, reflected, modeled, described and commanded.
From the very beginning, Your Word says, You’ve been telling us to love one another. You use an example from all the way back to just after You created the first family, an example of how You don’t want us to interact. The very first “disease” which hindered one person from loving another was envy or jealousy. Father, guard my heart from this disease. Where there are already such “cells” growing, come in with Your Spirit and eradicate them.
When I love another person, my actions reflect what You’ve done in my heart. Before I belonged to You, my destiny was death, or eternal separation from You. But in choosing to accept Your gift of salvation, I stepped out of the line headed toward destruction and into the line on the path to life eternally with You.
Plain and simple: You, Jesus, chose to sacrifice Your life for me, in my place, because You love me. Because I choose to follow You, this is the example You desire for me to follow in my own life. You’ve called me to lay aside my own agenda, desires, wants, in order to serve others.
“My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality.” (3:18-19 MSG) Imagining, planning and discussing ways to love others isn’t loving them. It’s in the encountering of people, the discovering of needs, and the doing of something to meet those needs that I truly love another person.
You’ve left us a twofold command: To BELIEVE and to LOVE. Believing in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ makes me part of Your family and allows Your Spirit to begin transforming me to be like Your Son. Loving others takes a choice on my part in which I allow the love You’ve shown to me to be manifested in my actions toward others.
Father, help me to be obedient to You by loving others genuinely and sacrificially just like Jesus. Amen.