Updated: Jan 4, 2020
John 15:12–13 (NKJV)
12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
What a wonderful reminder of the Savior’s love for us, then gently urging us toward loving others as He has loved us! It sounds like a very simple command, and it should be, right? But oh how we can struggle with a command like this. I know I certainly do.
So, how much does God love us? John 3:16, the worlds most recited verse tells us that God loved us so much that He sent His one and only Son to die on the cross for our sins. Jesus literally laid His life down that we may experience eternal life in Heaven. Just think about that for a few seconds, especially since we are so close to Christmas. God sent His Son and had to watch as He paid the ultimate price so that the free gift of salvation could be given to an undeserving world. That is love in every sense of the word, giving His life so that we can avoid eternal punishment.
Is that the life we are called to? Are we being asked to give our lives up in the literal sense? Yes and no. We may or may not be asked as Christians to literally lay our lives down, but are certainly being asked to lay our lives down in the figurative sense. So what does it look like to love like Jesus loves?
Listen… We all live busy lives, but we should always take the time to listen to a brother or sister that may be going through a trial or experiencing hardship. Sometimes a listening ear is all a friend may need.
Help… Whether it be physical help, monetary help, or spiritual help, we should always be willing to assist brothers and sisters in any way we can. This kind of help will not go unnoticed by God, Matthew 25:40 promises us that if we feed the hungry, shelter the needy and clothe the naked, it is as though we are providing those things for God Himself, what a powerful thought!
Encourage… The Lord is there to continually encourage us through our struggles, guiding us through the trials, should we not do the same for a friend?
Give… Nothing in this life is really ours, Psalms 24:1 reminds us that the earth and everything in it belong to the Lord, so why would we not be willing to give to a friend in need?
The world needs us believers to step up and love, be willing to take your day off to help a friend in need, be willing to miss that television show to provide godly counsel, skip that morning cup of coffee to help someone in need. God was willing to give everything for us, we ought to be seeking out ways to return that to His children.
John 15:17 (NKJV)
17 These things I command you, that you love one another.
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