“That You Love One Another as I Have Loved You…”

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John 15:10-13:

“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.   These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.   This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.   Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

How many times have I wondered about these verses!  Some use these verses where Jesus says, “If you keep my commandments..” as a pretense to say that we must keep the 10 commandments.  But Jesus says in John 13, after He washed the disciples’ feet, “If I then your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.”  Was He speaking of foot washing?  Was He speaking of doing “nice things” for others, or was He speaking of something else? I believe that He was speaking of love.  Love one another as I have loved you.  That’s the commandment that Jesus has given us.  He says that if we love Him, but we do not love our brother, then we lie.  How can we say we love Him (God) whom we have not seen, and hate our brother whom we have seen?

Lately, I have noticed a lack of love everywhere.  It’s in the church, in the world, everywhere.  The Word of God says that in the last days, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold,”  (Matthew 24:12).  I see this happening.  You really don’t need to be saved to notice that the darkness is growing, the hatred is growing, the evil is growing.  Even those in the world are pondering these things, wondering what is going to happen next?  People are walking around in terror and fear.  Huge numbers of people are addicted to pain killers in the US or are on Prozac, because they just can’t handle life very well, if at all.  Where is the love?

The other day, I posted something on my FB page.   After posting this, a couple of fellas that I knew growing up got on there and proceeded to deride me a bit.  I was at first a little angry, and perhaps offended.  I quickly went to the Lord and prayed.  Somehow after praying about it, I was not offended and had peace in my heart.  God gave me grace to tell them the truth of God’s love, His Word.   Not that it wasn’t meant to not bother me, but I saw an opportunity to share the love of Jesus with these two.  My brothers and sisters in Christ proceeded to cheer me on, which I am not saying is bad, but I wish that they had kept it to themselves.  I could have deleted what they said, but didn’t want to offend them.  I just wished that they had stopped and prayed for these two and asked God to help them write something that would show the love of Christ to them.  Instead, it became more of a debate.  The world is always going to react in hatred, reviling, and cursing, b/c that’s how they treated Jesus Christ.  We can’t get offended every time someone calls us a name.  In fact, we are commanded to love our enemies, to pray for them who persecute us.  I love my brethren, please don’t be offended by what I have written.

I had a friend tell me the other day that she has stopped going to church because of the superficial kind of love that she felt was being shown to her in her time of deep need.  This verse came to my mind as I was listening to her testimony:

1Ti 1:5  Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

Apparently, we all need to be reminded of Paul’s admonition to Timothy: “CHARITY (LOVE) OUT OF A PURE HEART, AND OF A GOOD CONSCIENCE, AND OF FAITH UNFEIGNED.” Was the church she was attending loving her out of a pure heart, with faith unfeigned?  Pretended love is hypocritical love.  I have caught myself doing this so many times, it ain’t even funny.  I have had to repent.  I urge you to seek the Lord and to love as He has loved us.

How has Jesus loved us?  He laid down His life for us!  He died for us!  We are to love even if it means that we might die. But we are to love Him first.  I do believe that we cannot love like this in ourselves and even if someone did love like this (like Gandhi for example) -or seem to- it will not avail anything; it will only produce vanity and iniquity because it would be without Jesus Christ.

“I am the Vine, you are the branches:  He who abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without Me you can do nothing.” -John 15:5

When someone says that I am a crazy fundamentalist, or some other comment, do I react with venom, bitterness, or love?  I hope that it’s love, but I know in myself dwelleth no good thing. We must love.  The opposite of love is hate.  Some say that hate is saying that Islam is a lie.  Some say that when we say that homosexuality is a sin, we are “homophobes” or “haters”, “prejudice.”  Speaking the truth is not going to win you beauty pagents ya know (Ms. California found that one out!).  You are not going to be well spoken of, or even loved.  People will seek to destroy you because of this.  It’s a given.  But I say again, we must love them.  Love, love, love  and continue to believe in Jesus Christ and pray, pray, pray.  We must pray for those who do evil to us.  How much evil did we speak, do, think, before we were saved by God’s amazing Grace? Remember from whence you were delivered, then you will have more compassion on those who are doing evil today.

This commandment is to love,a nd it is very hard to do, in fact, it’s impossible to do without Jesus Christ.  We need the Lord to love through us, to plant His all-consuming love in our hearts.  We need to the Lord to show us how to love those who hate us. The Holy Spirit is the only one who can bring forth this fruit in us and this only when our faith is placed exclusively in Jesus Christ and the Cross.  It is only by looking to Him and what He did there that we can see clearly, that we can love as He has loved us.

 

Look, the Lord wants me to say that this is a COMMANDMENT.  This is not optional.  When the church disregards the Lord’s commandments, we are not believing Him and we are not loving Him.  He is COMMANDING us to love.  Consider what is at stake if we fail to love each other, or our enemies.  How many souls are at stake?  Think about it beloved.  Obedience is better than sacrifice.

We cannot be salt and light in this world without love.  I know many men and women who seem to be zealous for the Lord, but have absolutely no idea what love is.  They cannot love even the brethren because they are so self-righteous they forget that it’s the humble child who will see the Father.

Mat 18:3  And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 18:4  Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

If only we would stop, repent and seek God’s face, His righteousness, then we would have all these things that we think we can earn.  The prodigal son’s brother thought he could earn the fatted calf, the robe and the ring–ie the favor of the Father, but it was the humility and desperation of the son and the love of the Father that gave the fatted calf, the robe, the ring and the restoration to the son.  God forgive us.

God bless you all and I hope that this was a blessing to you as you read it today.  Just thought I would share what the Lord showed me this morning.   Simple, unconditional love.  We need more of this in our hearts.  Your love and faith will witness to the lost and to your brethren, but only if it’s sincere. :)In Him by Grace,

saltyforJesus <><

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