To the Church of Jesus Christ:
The end of all things is at hand, therefore there is an urgent call to obedience. Obedience to the commands of Jesus and to the ‘one another’s’. Yesterday morning I was reading and praying through the ‘one another’s’ and it struck me again how often Jesus says to love one another. He commands us to love one another.
Jn 15:12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
Jn 15:17 These things I command you, that you love one another.
I pray that you will hear, receive, and live this word not in a way of judgement and criticism of others and how they are not loving you, but that you will be convicted and make a commitment to love others as Jesus has loved you. This is a command of Jesus to His disciples, His Church. If we all obeyed this, we would truly be the Church that loves one another, and the world would know that we belong to Jesus.
In John 13:34-35 Jesus says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” There it is, “love one another as I have loved you”! Wow! I thought about how Jesus loves us with a sacrificial, laying down of His life love. A love that is not based on what we have done, what we do, or what we will do, but on who He is - LOVE!
We are commanded to love one another in this same way. How is this possible? When I think about how often I fall short of this I praise the Lord that I have been freed from condemnation and live in the truth of Rom 8:1 which says, ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.’ I welcome the conviction of Holy Spirit with joy and thank Him that He is still at work in my heart and life to make me more like Jesus. The word says that I can ask for more of Jesus’s love for others. Love comes from Holy Spirit and He gives us the ability to love like Jesus. He empowers us to live according to the Spirt, displaying His character. I am asking Holy Spirit to enlarge my heart with His love so that I can be obedient to the command of Jesus to love others as He has loved me. I am asking Him to remove every bit of selfishness and self-centeredness from my heart.
Jn 14:14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
Jn 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever.
Rom 5:5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Gal 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
The scriptures are full of direction regarding loving one another. They are beautiful scriptures. I am again reminded that God never asks us to do anything without giving us everything we need to do it. We have already been given the One who enables and empowers us to love like Jesus-Holy Spirit. Here are a few more scriptures I was led to.
Rom 13:8-11 says that we need to owe no one anything except to love one another. It says that all the commandments are summed up in the command to love your neighbor as yourself. It says to do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now, our salvation is nearer than when we first believed! When I read this, I thought about the responsibility of the Church of Jesus Christ to love one another. We are accountable to God and others to obey this. I learned a long time ago to ask God for help to not get offended when corrected, rebuked, or exhorted. I have learned to consider that just maybe the person loves me with God’s love. Of course, we must welcome correction from God as He disciplines those He loves.
1 Peter 4:8 says, ‘And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” Fervent means having or showing great warmth or intensity of love; having enthusiastic, passionate love for one another. 1 Peter 1:22 says love one another fervently with a pure heart. I do not have the space to get into these scriptures in more detail, but I want to encourage you to sit with the Lord and ask Him to show you more. They will change your heart and your life!