Devotion #171

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

John 13:34-35 ESV

Love is so vitally important to Jesus that He commands us to love one another. Pause and think about that. Faith is important, prayer is important, taking care of the widow and the orphan are important, tithing is important…but love is what He commands us to do over everything else just a few short hours before He goes to the cross. Love. It’s the most important thing.

And not just that we should love Him—that’s the easy part. Loving a perfect God takes a leap of faith at times, but He is always faithful to respond perfectly. He blesses us with peace, understanding, wisdom, and guidance. He protects us, provides for us, and He never lets us down. Loving Him is easy.

He commanded us to love one another—that’s the hard part. Loving broken, selfish, hurting people can be hard. But here’s the truth that Jesus knew when He gave us this commandment—our love for Jesus is not what makes a lasting impression on those people He has placed in our lives…no, it’s how well we demonstrate our love for them that changes their lives. You may be married to someone who isn’t a believer, or someone who doesn’t act like he or she has the faith they profess much of the time, but it isn’t your pointing finger that’s going to change them. It isn’t your argument for why they should change. It isn’t your silent treatment or your raging words that is going to transform their heart into the person you want them to be. You want to change that difficult person you’re married to, then you need to love them. You want to change the way they treat you, love them unconditionally. Be the change you want to see in them, and you will see the transformation you long to know. The power love has to break down barriers, to change lives, to shine light into darkness is powerful. It is supernatural. It’s the reason God calls us to demonstrate love over and over again in Scripture. He knows it’s not easy, but He knows it’s the way He can enter the situation and bring about good.

If we want to do the work of the kingdom, if we want to really fulfill His last commandment to us—to go and make disciples, this is how we do it. We don’t need to have any biblical knowledge, or the right words to share the Gospel. People don’t come to Jesus because we have all the right words. They come to Jesus because they feel His love—through us. Go be loving today. Even though you’ve had a difficult time loving your spouse lately, go be Jesus to them.

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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