READING: 1 Chronicles 1, John 13:21-38
Somedays, it’s tough to love other people. They can be rude and mean. They’re impatient, but they still expect much from us. They don’t always act like mature followers of Jesus. They fight among themselves and still claim the best seats. They act, in fact, like Jesus’ disciples.
Nevertheless, Jesus told His followers, “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another”(John 13:34-35). The command to love was not exactly a new one, for the Old Testament points to God’s people loving Him, loving neighbors, and loving self (Lev 19:18. Deut 6:5). What was new was that they were to love each other just as Jesus loved them. That love was a sacrificial, undying, hard-to-believe kind of love willing to die for sinful disciples who would all run when Jesus was arrested. That kind of love is unachievable without God’s intervention in our lives.
At the same time, though, I’m mindful of all the believers who loved me, took me into their homes, and made me part of their family when my own family were not yet Christians. They were examples of compassion and confrontation, prayer and proclamation, sacrifice and submission to their Lord. They loved me with a genuine love that comes only from God—and through that love, they evidenced for me the reality of their relationship with Jesus.
PRAYER: “God, I need help loving people like I should.”
TOMORROW’S READING: 1 Chronicles 2-3, John 14