Written by: Eric Cochran
Morning and Evening Meditation
Read: John 13: 34-35
Ask the Lord what His love looks like in each facet of your daily life. Pray outside of the box here. What does it look like in my church life? My work/school life? How about in relationships with immediate and extended family? My causal interactions with co-workers/classmates, neighbors, strangers, etc.? What does it look like with people with whom I do not agree? How about with people who do not like, or perhaps, even hate me?
Read: John 13: 34-35
There are many things that can be written about our identity as a disciple of Jesus. A few too many for one devotion, that’s for sure. However, if there is one recurring theme throughout Scripture that defines a disciple, it’s love. After all, it is 1/9 of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) If you have been to a wedding you are likely familiar with the “Love Chapter” (1 Corinthians 13). In today’s passage, we are specifically talking about Christ’s love for us; that we, in turn, are to give away to others.
Jesus tells us that as His disciples, we are to love one another just as He loves us. This applies to believers and unbelievers alike. Scripture teaches that God showed His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Pre-disciple, if you will. He loved us first and there was nothing we did to earn His grace and love.
So, how exactly do we love others with His love? The answer is simple yet daunting. We are to show His love unconditionally and equally to all people, sinner and saint alike. Our human love tends to be positional and conditional. We love our children because they are our children and we love others because we agree with them or like what they say or do. It’s convenient and comfortable. However, Jesus’ love for us was neither convenient nor comfortable. It led Him to the cross. His love is not a response to anything we say or do. It does not mean that He likes our conduct if it is contrary to His Word, but He loves us just the same.
Now, I understand that some people can be challenging to love, especially when we disagree with their beliefs or some aspect of their life. However, when we begin to love these “challenging” people, we are truly loving as Christ loved, unconditionally and equally. I am quite certain that I have been someone’s “challenging” person more than once in my life.
Who do you find difficult to love? In what practical ways can you begin to show them Jesus’ love?
Ask the Lord to help you express His love equally with everyone, especially with those you may find difficult to love.
Take an inventory of those you find difficult to love. Prayerfully, begin to jot down some ideas on how you can show them the love of Jesus and ask God for opportunity to put these ideas into action.