glorified, God is glorified in Him. The Father and the Son as they are put on display advertise to a watching world, their Glory. God needs us to be His "agents" to advertise His Love. We need to practice this love publicly and love one another as stated in verse 34.
What is Love? Biblical love is "The decision to passionately and righteously seek the well being of another". This is contrasted with the word "like". We like based on how we feel about others. This is an ever-changing thing. Jesus didn't command us to like everybody, but John 13:34 says" A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I
have loved you, that you also love one another. vs. 35 "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." (NKJV). This is a commandment, not a suggestion. Loving those you may not like, even your enemies, is what makes Jesus look real to the watching world. Do you ever wonder why you have "difficult" or "irregular" people in your life? God allows these people in your life to teach you to love what you don't like. These are symptoms that others can readily see. People quickly pick up on the fact of seeing someone demonstrate love to the difficult ones who are sometimes mean, nasty and hard to get along with. To follow Jesus' example, we must first realize that He loved us while we were yet sinners and then died for us. (Romans 5:8). I am afraid that
there are many of us who in God's "fan club", but are not His true disciples. A fan is someone who just wants to feel good about his or her life by going to church, singing hymns of praise, listening to a good sermon, going to a Bible study, etc, but not desiring the close intimate fellowship of Jesus, which requires commitment and action.
John was referred to as the disciple whom Jesus loved. He had the closest relationship of all with Jesus. He was so taken with the deep love of Jesus that he wrote an entire book about it. This is the book of 1 John. He tells us in I John 2:7, that he is giving us a "not new", but old commandment to love one another. It's not new in origin, but new in effect. An example of this is the sun is old, but each day as we witness a sunrise in all it's beauty,
it's new. John tells us that if we are not loving, we are in darkness. Loving one another is being in the light. The vertical relationship we have with God provides the light and prepares us for the horizontal relationship of loving one another.
Food versus family. Sometimes we think we can have one without the other, but we cannot. If anyone remembers having teenagers in their home, we remember how they like to be alone in their room with all their media devices and not be with the family, except when they are hungry. Then they will come down and find food sometimes to take back up to their room. They want the food, but not the family. We do this in church too. We want the food of church every Sunday, a great song by the choir, a good message by the pastor, but we don't want any commitment. We don't want to join, because then something might be required of us. We must realize that the "food" without the "family"
will never satisfy. If our connection is broken vertically, we are in darkness, and we can't be effective in our family. relationships. If God seems distant from you, check where you are hanging out. If there is no horizontal love, you God connection is broken. I John 3: 16 tells us that "By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our life for the brethren." Love is both word and deed. We must abide in Christ. We demonstrate this by hanging out with God's family. When we disconnect from God's involvement with us on this earth and do not love His family, we are in
darkness. God's nature is Love. That is who He is. We must be about seeking the
betterment of others. We can't see God, however, when you are a loving Christian, He can demonstrate Himself through you. When God is abiding in you and you are abiding in Him, He is hanging out with you. I John 4:17 says " Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world." (NKJV). We can have confidence in the judgment if our life has demonstrated loving one another.
The product of God's wonderful free gift of Salvation is demonstrated to the watching world by our loving one another. So, be full of God's love! Love well and be a "grace-giver". 1 John 4:19 " We love Him because He first loved us". Thank you Jesus, for your lavish love that You freely give to us!
These thoughts were compiled because I was so touched by a two part message by Dr. Tony Evans on loving one another. Much of this content is from those two messages which impacted me so greatly, I wanted to
share it with each of you.
Love in Christ,