As I Have Loved You
“‘My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.’” (John 15:12 NIV)
Jesus has just told his disciples the amazing truth that he loves them as the Father loves him. He then tells them that he wants them to abide in, or live and rest in, the consciousness of his love for them by obeying his commandments. But Jesus isn’t talking legalism here, for he narrows the commandments down to one command: “Love one another as I have loved you.” This makes sense, for God is love. As the Father loves the Son, so Jesus loves us; and as Jesus loves us, so are we to love one another.
To be surrounded by a consciousness of the love of God, therefore, is to live a life of love for God and for others. But the minute I start to be selfish, not thinking of others and their needs—or, worse, if I wrong a brother or sister—I automatically begin to lose the feeling of his love. How can I enjoy the presence of God’s love when I’m not practicing love toward other people that he loves … when I’m no longer walking in obedience to his command and, thus, not abiding in his love?
The Scripture doesn’t say that when we disobey, God doesn’t love us anymore, for his love is unconditional; but we do lose the peace and joy that come along with having a sense of his love. It’s at those times of vulnerability that the devil whispers, “Go to church more, and then God will love you,” but that’s not it at all. What we have to do at that point is to repent and say, “I’m sorry,” for having, perhaps, said something unloving to a brother or sister. We can then have that peace restored with others and within.
The Apostle Paul wrote the following words to the church in Ephesus: “Be imitators of God, therefore, … and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us…” (Ephesians 5:1-2). Let’s ask God to help us live a life of love, by his Holy Spirit, and we will be surrounded by a consciousness of his everlasting love for us.
Read John 15:9-17.