Recently, my husband and I were having a conversation. Let me start off by saying, I am NOT a part of the “religious establishment!” Most of the time I keep my thoughts to myself because I am sure people would interpret them wrongly. However, something welled up in me this morning and I wanted to share this thought with you.
John 13:34-35 says, “A new commandment I give you that you LOVE ONE ANOTHER. AS I HAVE LOVED YOU, SO ALSO YOU MUST LOVE ONE ANOTHER!!! By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another…”
How simple this passage appears on the surface, but how strong is its message. In this passage, Jesus is commanding us to LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
He did not say that people would know we are Christians by how many Bible verses we can recite. He did not say that people would know we are Christians by how many revivals we attend. He did not say that people would know we are Christians by how active we are in our local church. He also did not say that people would know we are Christians by how much money we make.
HE SIMPLY SAID THAT PEOPLE WOULD KNOW WE ARE HIS DISCIPLINED ONES BY THE LOVE WE HAVE FOR ONE ANOTHER!!!!!
I Corinthians 13 sums it up so beautifully. It reads;
“1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
AND NOW THESE THREE REMAIN: FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE. BUT THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE! Wow! I look around me and I see so many people who call themselves Christians, but are soo locked in their own religious prisons that these Bible passages have become just some Bible verses that they have memorized, much like they learned their ABC’s. My Beloveds, we have got to get back to the basic word of God. He said to love one another, not in word but in deed.
Love requires effort. It requires energy. Love sometimes requires sacrifice. Love requires forgiveness. Love requires humility. Love requires self-awareness, but it also requires selflessness! Love requires trust. Love requires a good report. Love requires patience. Love requires kindness. Love requires unity. Love requires vulnerability. Love requires fearlessness. Love requires much more than we ever thought!
Love requires us to adopt a new paradigm. A new way of thinking and behaving in the world. When we TRULY recognize and begin to walk in the God kind of love, as the body of Christ, we will rise strong and unified. I believe we will begin to see mighty changes in our workplace, our churches, our homes, and most importantly in our lives.
LOVE NEVER FAILS!
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