Brilliant on the Basics

Brilliant on the Basics: Five

Brilliant on the basic of Love

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Brilliant on the Basics: Five

Brilliant on the basic of Love

05 November 2010

When Jesus was getting ready to go to the cross and die for us and then rise again and depart for heaven to prepare us an eternal home, He said to His followers: (John 13:34 NIV) A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. That was a challenging command!

You will notice that Jesus said He was giving them a new command. The command to love was not new. It was the word from God back in the Old Testament. The teaching for years had been (Levit. 19:18 NIV) but love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus had summarized the Law of the Old Testament saying, (Mark. 12:30-31 NIV) Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. 31 The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these. The newness of this commandment in John 13:34 was that Jesus commanded them and us to love as He loved. So, let’s see how He loved and learn what this challenging command has to say about our love life.

Jesus loved with a love that was:

1. unending – (John 13:1 NLT) Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end. God’s love, in Christ, is eternal. (Jere. 31:3 NIV) The LORD appeared to us in the past saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with lovingkindness.” You will notice that God’s love never ends. Jesus loved with that kind of unending love. Whether we understand it or not, we are responsible for standing on His promise and exercising that same kind of unending love one for another. Our love should have no end!

2. unlimited – Jesus’ love was an infinite love. He loved beyond the limits of time, space, race, social standing, educational level, lifestyle, or any other limitation that could divide people in our day. (Eph. 3:18-19 TLB) and may you be able to feel and understand, as all God’s children should, how long, how wide, how deep, and how high his love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves, though it is so great that you will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it. And so at last you will be filled up with God himself. (Rom. 8:38 TLB) For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels won’t, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow. So, the weight of Scripture is that there is no limit to which God’s love for us will not go. His love is unlimited. It is unfathomable! We are to love like that!

3. understanding – Jesus always lifted the downtrodden. He had compassion on those who were unfortunate. He fed the hungry, healed the sick, raised the dead, reached out to the lost. He loved with a deep emotional response that showed His caring spirit. He exampled and taught that we are to love like Him. (Luke 6:36 NLT) You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate. God assures us of His care and compassion in (1 Pet. 5:7 NIV) Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. If you think no one cares for you, you are wrong. There is one who always cares – Jesus Christ. And, He commanded us to be compassionate as He was compassionate.

4. unshackling – The love of Christ liberates. It can change the most wicked of sinners and make that one clean. It changed the Apostle Paul from “the chief of sinners” to a great apostle and missionary. His own testimony was, (Gal. 2:20 NIV) I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. That is the kind of love that changes hearts. If your life needs changing, run to Jesus and let Him make the difference in you so you can, in turn, make a difference in others around you.

5. unselfish – Jesus left the glories of heaven to come to the earth full of hatred and sin to be horrifically killed for our redemption. He looked to our best interest not His own. This is the kind of love that Paul talked about in (1 Cor. 13:7 TLB) If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him. always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him. Jesus’ kind of love always looks to the best interest of the one loved and believes the best about the one loved. It goes on loving no matter what. (1 Cor. 13:4 NIV) Love is patient. It lives in an attitude of forgiveness toward the one loved. That is the way Jesus loved, and we are to love like that. Can you imagine the difference that would make in marriages, parent-child relationships, friendships, work relationships, and more?

6. untiring – Jesus came to forgive not to frustrate. He came to redeem not to ruin. He told of God’s love through Him in the form of a Shepherd who would leave 99 sheep in the fold and go out and search for one that was lost. He talked of a father who would welcome back home a son who had squandered the family fortune and brought shame on the family name (Lk. 15:3ff). Jesus never tired of loving people back home and welcoming those who were repentant and sought forgiveness. We should demonstrate that kind of redemptive love toward those around us who are broken in their sin.

One of the greatest human needs is to be loved. We talk of it, think of it, need it, yearn for it, will go to great lengths to get it. Because Jesus has set the example for us in how to love, we ought to love those around us with the same kind of love. This is not an elective for the Christian. Jesus commanded us to do it. John wrote (1 John 3:16 NIV) This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. Jesus illustrated it! Remember that all love comes from God. He is the Source of love. So, all love for parents, children, spouses, friends begins in Him. It is God’s gift to us and through us to others. To love like Jesus you have to learn how He loved. We have done that here. I challenge you to (Phil. 2:5 NIV) Let your attitude be the same as that of Christ Jesus… .

God created us in love and loved us in creation. He recreated us for love. By faith Jesus lives His life through us. Loving like Jesus loved is possible only as we die to self and allow Him to live His loving life through us.

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