Last time, we were able to identify our neighbor in the commandment, “love your neighbor as you love yourself”. In this post, let us take a look at the weight of love that we ought to give our neighbors by looking again to the very words of Jesus.
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. ~ John 15:9-14
I love how Jesus organized His statements in these verses. I am pretty sure that you can also observe how he made himself clear with the message he would like to convey to his apostles. Plain and simple: we ought to love our neighbors just like how Jesus loved us. And how did Jesus love us? By laying down his life for us. Wow! Now that’s pretty hard! But we can’t contest Jesus’ words. He lived and led by example, and if we love him, we will obey his commandments. We can only love because He first loved us. Praise God for this!
I heard from our ministry overseer during one of our group devotions that perhaps, this is the real bottom line of what Jesus meant by:
Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. ~ Matthew 16:24
“Deny yourself” is corollary to “love your neighbor as yourself” isn’t it? Perhaps, if we look at it this way, it’s easier for us to think of tangible ways of loving our neighbors everyday rather than jumping into the ultimate sacrifice of dying for someone else’s life.
Think of this first: How do we show love to ourselves? Jesus knows man is naturally selfish. We love ourselves so dearly! From the way we feed ourselves everyday, the clothes we wear, how we protect ourselves from getting hurt…question is, can we do the same to our neighbors?
I am posting this as a challenge to each one of us (yes, including me). Let us think of ways on how we can demonstrate that kind of love to others. What are the things we can do sacrificially for another person? What are the things we naturally do to take care of ourselves that we can show others as well? As the days and weeks unfold, observe how the Holy Spirit moves and guides you in spreading love to those around you.
Next week, let us see what apostle Paul has to say about love and how can we apply it in our lives.
You can read more of my Christian posts in my personal WordPress site: Notes from Moon
Have a blessed week!