This post is the second in the series on God’s Blueprint for Relationships. If you have not you may wan to read the first post: Blueprint for a Perfect Relationship.
Love is the foundation for many…if not most of our relationships. Is love an emotion that changes as often as the weather? Or is love an intentional decision of the will that leads to action? God commands us to love, but how is this love to be seen in our daily lives?
John 15:12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this that one lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. 17 This I command you, that you love one another.
Jesus commanded to His disciples to love one another as He had loved them (John 15:12). So the question is how did Christ love His disciples? He loved them by being an example: doing the work of God (John 4:36, 6: 26-29, 17:13); serving others (John 13:12-17); obeying God’s commands (John 14:31); laying down His life for them (John 10:15, 15).
In fact, Jesus said there is no greater love than to lay down your life for your friends (John 15:13). Paul said Christ loved us by giving Himself up for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:2) that we might receive forgiveness of our sins (Colossians 1:14). Because God loves us, He gave His only Son, so that when we believe in Him we will not perish (lose our lives for eternity) but have eternal life (John 3:16).
Out of love Christ gave up His life that we may have eternal life through Him.
How are we to love as Christ loved?
1 John 3:16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
John instructs us not to love in word or tongue but to love in deed and truth. To love only in word or tongue is to love with careless or selfish words and fail to show any evidence of real love. To love in deed is to love with action…sharing and giving of ourselves to meet the need of others, whether it is the need for salvation or a meal. To love in truth is to love with sincerity, speaking truth in love so that our heart does not condemn us before God (1 John 3:19-20).
Love in deed by sharing what we have…love in truth by acting out of a sincere heart.
Why is loving other so important?
John 3:14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
Our loving one another gives evidence of our salvation…that we have come to faith and have eternal life. Our refusal to love shows that we remain spiritually dead and are living according to our natural sinful nature.