Towards the end of John, just before His crucifixion, Jesus has some things to say to His disciples and also says a long prayer for them and all believers to come. In this dialogue, Jesus says something about His love for the disciples and for us.
John 15:9 (NKJV) — As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.
Now we can only guess at the extent of the Father’s love for Jesus. It must be far greater than our minds can comprehend. It is a love that is absolute and infinite. Jesus says that His love for us is exactly like this. Just as the Father loved Jesus, He loves us….Just as. That is one of the most encouraging passages from the Bible for me. Jesus loves me just as God the Father loves Jesus.
The question then comes…what am I to do with that? How do I respond to that kind of love. We never have to worry about finding the answer. The answer is always in scripture. In fact, Jesus follows this up with exactly how we are to respond to His love.
John 15:12 (NKJV) — This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
Think about that! We are to love one another in just the same way that Jesus loves us. It is a commandment! That means we are to love one another in just the same way that God the Father loves Jesus Christ. Is that what your love looks like?
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NKJV) — 4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Compare your everyday actions to this list. True love is infinitely patient and is always kind, even to those that cause us to suffer. Love never envies another person. Love never wants what the other has and never wants to be important. Love does not parade itself or flaunt knowledge or position. Love isn’t puffed up and haughty and doesn’t think more highly than it should. Love is never rude, but always polite. Love never seeks its own, but always seeks what is best for others.
Love is never provoked. That’s a hard one. Love never gets angry or loses control about what someone else has done. Love does not rejoice in iniquity. That means love does not rejoice in any kind of sin. This includes your enemy’s sin. It’s easy to want our enemy to be seen as a sinner so we spread gossip and use their sin to make ourselves look good. Love does none of that. Love rejoices only in the truth of God.
Most importantly, this is all summed up in verse 7…love bears all things of man, believes all things of God, hopes in all the promises of God and hopes for the good of all people. Most importantly, love endures all slander hardship and suffering as we wait for our Lord.
In His Service, Scott
This Week’s Reading Plan:
- Day 1 – John 16-18
- Day 2 – John 19-21
- Day 3 – Acts 1-3
- Day 4 – Acts 4-6
- Day 5 – Acts 7-8
- Day 6 – Acts 9-10
- Day 7 – Acts 11-13