Monday, July 09, 2012

A New Commandment

Jesus was asked what was the most important of the commandments. He answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and Love your neighbor as yourself (Luke 10:27).” He said that this was the heart of the commandments; the key to obeying God. The Apostle Paul said that when we practice love we need not worry about commandment breaking (Romans 13:8-9).

This teaching is so important that Jesus chose to speak on it during his last hours of freedom. He told the Apostles, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)

Although Jesus said that love would be the way His followers would distinguish themselves, the opposite is often true. We hear about church and denominational splits, feuding among members within a congregation, pastors badmouthing other ministries, sexual abuse and more. Some church leaders speak such hateful words that they make a mockery of our faith and our Lord.

Jesus modeled how we should love. His was a humble love that washed the apostles feet. It was a compassionate love that touched lepers, healed the sick and raised the dead. It was a love that reached out to outcasts like Zacchaeus and the Samaritan woman. It was a sacrificial love that went to the cross so we might be freed from the shame and bondage of our sin.

The Bible teaches us that we are to love our brother, our neighbor and,even, our enemies.

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another,
God lives in us and his love is made complete in us
1 John 4:12

1 comment:

Diana said...

Yes, loving our enemies is the hardest thing to do. I try so hard to remember that commandment. It is always so easy to love those who love you but loving as Christ loved is what we need to learn to do daily. I was moved by this message on Sunday. Thank you.