Proverbs 13 12-13-22

How do we love as God loves? We look at Jesus, the exact representation of God. He demonstrated God’s love to us at the cross.

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. Hebrews 1:3

Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). How do we lay down our lives? Sometimes, it means literally dying, but most times it means putting others’ needs first,

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4

I believe that this is what Jesus meant when He said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).

In Jesus’ daily teachings, He said this,

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to [for] others what you would have them do to [for] you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets [known as the Golden Rule]. Matthew 7:9-12

He said it another way to the Temple leaders,

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40

Paul narrowed it down even more,

14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14

Why would Paul put it this way? Because to love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves means that we treat them with the Golden Rule, which is how we deny ourselves and become Jesus’ disciples. We love God by loving others. Jesus said,

15 “If you love me, keep my commands. John 14:15

In this way, we become ambassadors of God’s love to the world (2 Corinthians 5:20). It is our truest way to love like our heavenly Father. Let’s love Him today by loving others, doing for them what we would like for others to do for us.

Abba, this command is easy to say, but hard to do. In fact, without Your help, we don’t even want to! Please, Lord, give us the want-to to want to, and then the power to do it. Your desire over ours; “You must become greater, we must become less” (John 3:30). Amen.

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