"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 3:34-35
Love is often underestimated; wrongly defined by what we have in mind, what we have experienced in supposed earthly love. Love is not merely an emotion, but it should set us in motion. Not fueled by earthly desires but eternal destinies that are at stake. LOVE, real love, is designed and defined by God alone.
Love must be our go-to; it flows to and through us. We have fully received the GREAT love of Jesus Christ full of grace, forgiveness, generosity, blessings, kindness and more. It is unconditional and sacrificial, and it was ours even “while we were yet sinners.” We did not earn it, we don’t deserve it, but we certainly needed it. We are dead without it. His love defines and refines us, it is the thing He has chosen to be the characteristic of His people. In fact, in 1 John 4:8 we are told, “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
Since we have received and experienced that kind of love, how much more should we want every person we come in contact with to know this love. It is not complicated when you think about it; if you taste something delicious you immediately say, “Taste this!” and offer to give someone a bite. If you see a great movie or read a great book – you tell people. If you find a great product, you may even be compelled to buy it so others will try it and reap its benefit. How much more should we want to make sure that we do all that we can to snatch people from the fires of hell and pull them from the path of destruction, missing their God-given destiny on earth and eternally and introduce them to LIFE. Abundant LIFE that first starts with LOVE.
Jesus said LOVE will define us; it will be the main thing the world recognizes in us, the content of our character of compassion, love in action, that connects us with being a follower of Jesus. In John 13:34-35 Jesus was very clear and very specific: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
They will KNOW, not speculate because you participate in a gathering once or twice a week in a building that may or may not have a cross on it. They will not speculate because of the way you decorate your home or office space, nor because of the message on your hat, t-shirt, or bumper sticker. Please don’t get me wrong, these are great conversation starters! We at the NDPTF often say we “wear prayer” as we pray for all people and hope we will get the opportunity to pray with people. We hope our gear draws people near to ask for prayer, to give us opportunities to talk about Jesus, to give a testimony of His goodness and grace in our lives, to share His Word. The one thing you can certainly count on is that it gets people watching. This is not a prideful statement; it is true that if someone professes to be something you start watching for proof.
Love starts in prayer! We pray all sorts of prayers and we pray, “Lord break our heart for what breaks yours.” And with broken hearts we get in our prayer closets or wherever you meet with Him and we pray and pray for justice, righteousness, for wrongs to be righted, needs to be met, prayers to be answered, and at some point, if you are listening, God will say, “I’ve heard your prayer now get out there!” Our prayer time is where we pour out our hearts as we submit and commit our day and our lives to the one who gave us this day to live. We incline our ear for Him to guide our path to His purposes for that day. His plans always supersede ours, and we seek His direction as God’s doers not just do-gooders, but His army of compassion to love so deeply that if you disappeared, if the church doors closed and His followers ceased to exist, your neighborhood, your city, this nation would be thrown into chaos because Jesus’ followers were not there fulfilling their purpose of love.
God created you, carved and circumcised your heart for compassion. He placed specific passions, talents, experiences, a tenderness for specific people, needs, things that bring tears to your eyes and righteous anger to your heart – injustices, pain, needs… good works that Scripture says he prepared before your alarm clock went off today – before you were even born. He prepared these works and then created You, His workmanship to go out and show His love – not earn His love, that is impossible, but respond to it, to be an overflow of it and show it, so much so that when your name is spoken, or you step into a room, people say, “He/ She is a follower of Jesus.” May it never be that people just suspect that I, that you, love Jesus. May they KNOW it, because they have experienced the effect that Christ has had on your life and mine. But they won’t know it, until we show it!
Please pray with me. Lord we find Your definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13. We want to live love that You define as patient and kind. Thank you these are part of the Fruit of the Spirit; the result of You working in our life, the effect of submitting ALL and a desire to LOVE you with ALL our heart soul, mind and strength. We pray for opportunities every day to replace the anxiousness and anger we encounter with love expressed in patience and kindness. Help us to remember that love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”
National Day of Prayer Task Force