WEEK SIX, DAY TWO, COMMON ENGLISH BIBLE COMPANION
WEEK SIX THEME: LOVE
DAY TWO THEME: STRENGTH OF LOVE
SCRIPTURE: JOHN 13:34-35 (CEB)
“I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other.”
THE WORD OF GOD FOR THE PEOPLE OF GOD – THANKS BE TO GOD!
SOAKING IT IN: Today’s verses are simple but strong and usually very hard to let in. We are to love. Jesus’ only amplifications on this commandment is that we are to love each other as He has loved us. Are we able?
We can get all carried away and praised out on the amazing and wonderful love of God as we accept it for ourselves and are grateful. We can focus on how unworthy we are of such sacrificial and unconditional love and we can cry and praise and worship in truth and joy over this and it is very real and it is very humbling and it is cleansing and it is pure and it is holy.
The hard part of being a disciple of Christ is when we have to apply what we have so freely been given to others…love others. There are some who are so loveable and the task is easy, but there are many, many more that are not so easy to like, much less love. They are “different” from me in so many ways. I don’t like what they like and I don’t do things that they do, I don’t use words that they use … Judgement pops its ugly head right up and says to me that there must be conditions where loving is not what I should be doing – “they” are simply not deserving. They need to change something in order for me to show such love. Once they make the necessary changes – then okay, I can love then!?!
In that moment I forget how undeserving I am of God’s love and put myself up a notch over the other in the circumstance of the moment and give them the task of measuring up. Once they measure up, I decide within myself if I can love them, then I can love them – they will have earned my love and then we can be God’s children together. To love the way that Jesus is commanding here – it is not a suggestion, it is a command – requires me to stay in that worshipful love fest that I feel as described earlier and let that oooooze all over others – letting go of all judgment. I must allow the Holy Spirit to flow within and through me and just love – just as I have been loved. I don’t need to have understanding over another – I need to love – just as I have been loved. It is a verb here, not even an emotion. It is Christ in action through me, allowing acceptance and hope to everyone I meet whether on the street or in a Sunday School Class.
Birds of a feather do flock together in nature, but in God’s Kingdom we are all the same bird – there are no distinctions and love is the common denominator. As we embrace this calling on our lives, we live in God’s Kingdom in perfect harmony and it can happen each and every moment of each and every day. Love is God’s tool to us to change the world – bringing in God’s Kingdom! Praise be to God!