12 Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.
Occasionally, I’ll have to hit the “refresh” icon (it’s the near-circle with the arrow just before the https address) in order to get accurate information and up-to-date information on the website at which I am looking. Jesus did the same thing for us!
34 “A NEW command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:34-35
The word, “new,” means, “fresh,” as opposed to “new in time.” God IS love (1 John 4:16). He never changes (Psalm 33:11, Isaiah 46:10). Jesus came because “God so loved the world.” (John 3:16)
- He created Adam and Eve to have a love relationship with Him.
- He established Abraham as the father of nations by forming a love relationship with him.
- He formed the Sinai Covenant with the people of Israel to teach them how to love one another and to have a love relationship with Him.
- He sent Jesus to demonstrate His love for us. “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
When Jesus gave His disciples this “new” command, it wasn’t really new, but fresh. He was rolling all the commands given in the Sinai Covenant into one command to LOVE ONE ANOTHER just as He has loved them.
Godly love is based on the worth of a person to God. We demonstrate love to one another knowing that God loves each of us enough to die for us. Our feelings cannot be trusted to help us. In fact, they are so fickle as to be a hindrance more than a help–initially. When we demonstrate God’s love, we will–eventually–feel His love flowing through us. It is then that we best demonstrate Christ to a dying world.
We realize what this means, don’t we? It means that the darker our circumstances, the more dire our treatment by other people, the greater our opportunity to demonstrate the pure love of Jesus. When we get nothing out of it, when it is opposite of what justice demands, THEN it is grace, pure grace, that is shown, and the love of Christ is demonstrated through us. Impossible? Yes, without Christ.
Know this: If we have to walk through tough situations, it is because of the sinful state of this world. God, through His omniscience and His power, uses us in those situations to display His goodness and His love (Romans 8:28). He will give us the desire to love and the power to demonstrate that love to our adversaries and in our situations (Philippians 2:13). It is when we know Him most intimately (Philippians 3:10).
Daniel certainly demonstrated this truth in the lions’ den, and his friends in the fiery furnace (read about them in Daniel 3 and 6). Hebrews 11 is full of people who demonstrated God’s love, many to the death. Because of their faith in a loving God and a faithful Savior, may we be encouraged.
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded [in heaven] by such a great cloud of witnesses [who, through the testimony of their lives, encourage us to trust God], let us throw off everything that hinders [the things of this earth, whether physical or emotional, that draw us away from trusting Christ] and the sin that so easily entangles [sin destroys us]. And let us run with perseverance the race [to the throne of God] marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer [Author] and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set before him [and is set before us] he endured the cross [we are to do the same], scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
HE IS OUR EXAMPLE! Let’s emulate Him today by loving others as Christ has loved us.