Day 21 – We are Commanded to Love One Another
John 15:9-17 says: As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
The Greek word, translated to “abide”, literally means “to stay” or “to remain”.
The meaning here is crucial because it places the responsibility for “abiding” on us. That is to say, that if we are not walking with God, it is not God who has abandoned us, but it is us who has abandoned God. Jesus, here, is urging us to not flee from God.
The “love” Jesus is talking about requires a decision to “keep (His) commandments”. Jesus examines “love” by its actions.
On one level, this criteria for “love” should impact many of our human relationships. No doubt, we will say that we love our children, that we love our parents, and that we love our spouse–the question is: do our actions support that claim?
Many of us are eager to love and to be loved, but we often want to love on our terms. Keep in mind that if God’s love for us depended on us living up to His expectations no one in the world would be loved by God. The type of love that Jesus has for His disciples is unmerited love. If we are to love others as Jesus loves us, we must not make our love for others conditional on their behaviour. God loves us unconditionally; so we are to love unconditionally.
Prayer: Dear Yahweh, Father, my prayer is that we would love one another with Your kind of love, not the love we love with. Teach us, O’ Adonai, Yahweh! In Your precious name, Jesus, amen.
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