February 1, 2014
Let’s love. Let’s love the unloved. Let’s take notice of those who are lonely, those who feel deep sadness as they are reminded this month that few, if anyone, care about their existence. Let’s love, not only in word, but with our actions and in Truth. (1 John 3:18) Let’s love kindly, considerately, and in the manner with which Christ loved us as He sacrificed His life for us. (Eph. 5:2) Let us imitate God by living a life of love. (v. 1,2) Let us obey Christ when He says, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:12) And how did He love us? He loved sacrificially, even unto death on a cross, even unto taking the punishment for every heinous sin ever committed.
Jesus says, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) Do we do this? He did it for us, and we are to imitate Him. So do we? And not just for our friends, but for those at enmity with us? Jesus did this for us. He died for us while we were still hostile sinners against Him. (Rom. 5:8 & 8:7)
Sadly though, instead of loving others kindly and sacrificially, many people have shallow love for one another. Their love has no root and so it lives only when things are easy and go their way. Job 17:5 mentions a man who denounces his friends for reward. How often this does actually occur! How often we see, or experience, a person who ignores, shuns, or even betrays a friend if there is money, pleasure, popularity, or some other reward to be had by doing so.
But Christ-followers are never to love selfishly. They are not to love for what they can get, but are to joyfully give of themselves to others (as directed by the Holy Spirit whom they obey at all times). This self-giving is to be done, as well, unto God Himself. Do we love the Lord? Then we are to obey Him. (John 14:15) And His command is that we love Him with all our heat, soul, mind, and strength (Luke 10:27), love our fellowman as ourselves (same verse), extend compassion and mercy (v. 29-37), refrain from harming anyone (Rom. 13:10), and lay down our lives for God and His purposes. (2 Cor. 5:15 // 1 Peter 4:2)
Do we love like God’s Word has commanded us? Let’s evaluate ourselves and choose to do so. And begin today.