|Good Morning Everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “You are loved”
Our Bible verse for today: “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Jesus is the standard that our love is measured by.”
Jane was one of the kindest people I ever knew. She was a widow and for many years after the death of her husband who was a pastor, she ran a small Christian bookstore in our desert town. She was also one of the most active and faithful members of our church. If the doors were open, Jane was there. If there was an activity going on, Jane found a way to be involved and to help.
But the thing Jane was known for most was her great love for others. She genuinely, deeply, cared for others, and it grieved her to see them suffering and struggling. And when she did, if she could do something to help them, she would. She lived modestly on a small fixed income but that didn’t matter. She would give freely and generously in an effort to help and bless others. And if you asked her why she did it she would simply say, “Because that’s what Jesus would do.”
In John 13:34-35 we read of Jesus doing something He often did: He took an Old Testament precept and He raised it to a new, higher New Testament standard. In the Old Testament God’s people were told not to commit murder (Exodus 20:13); in the New Testament Jesus tells us we are to avoid even anger (Matthew 5:21). In the Old Testament we’re told we are not to commit adultery (Exodus 20:14); in the New Testament Jesus says we are not to even think lustful thoughts (Matthew 5:27-28).
In the Old Testament we are taught to love others as we love ourselves (Leviticus 19:18); here in John 13:34-35 we’re taught to love others as Jesus loves us. He raised that Old Testament standard to something higher and better. Now the measure for how much we are to love others isn’t how much we love ourselves, but how much Jesus loves us. That’s different. That’s much higher. He loves us unconditionally. He loves us sacrificially. And that’s how we are to love others.
The way the love of God is most frequently experienced is by the people of God loving other people on His behalf. That’s why Jesus told us to go out and express our love for others with the same love that He has for us. It’s a pretty high standard and it’s one that’s actually impossible for us flawed Christians to meet. But it is the standard we are to strive for. We’ll think more about this tomorrow.
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