As Jesus is getting closer to the end of His earthly ministry, He gives a new commandment. In John 13:34, Jesus tells the disciples, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” He then tells them that this love they have for others would be the identifying mark of those who follow Him. Why is this a new commandment? Back in Deuteronomy 6:5, we are commanded to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, and strength. In Leviticus 19:18, we are instructed to love our neighbor as ourselves. Then in Matthew 5:43-48, we are taught that we must even love our enemies. So obviously loving God and others is not a new commandment.
So what’s new about this commandment in John 13:34? The new commandment is that we are to love one another as Jesus loves us.
If we are to love one another as Jesus loves us, then what does that love look like?
One of God’s primary attributes is love. 1 John 4:8 says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” It is not a definition of God, but rather that His love permeates His essence in all that He is and everything He does. So when we truly know Him and experience His unfailing love towards us, there should be a desire for every person we come in contact with to want to experience His love also. Therefore, if we don’t love others, we must not know God on a personal level and have experienced His love.
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 that love is patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, is not proud, does not dishonor others, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, does not keep any record of wrongs, does not rejoice in evil but rejoices in truth, it always protect, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, and it never fails. Only God has such an unwavering and unfailing love and He expressed that love to us through Jesus’ death and resurrection.
John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus said in John 15:13, “No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.” And that is exactly the purest and truest love there is – and Jesus did that for us. He loves perfectly.
Only God has such an unwavering and unfailing love and He expressed that love to us through Jesus’ death and resurrection. — Julia BruceTweet
Because we are made in God’s image, we should reflect His love.
It would be impossible for us to love like Jesus on our own. This unselfish, perfect love can only come from God. Jesus demonstrated and taught us how to love and we can learn from the examples He set. While on earth, we often see Jesus in the role of a servant as he placed the needs of others above His own and He expects us to do the same. However, loving and serving others is not a burden, but a joy.
Galatians 5:22 provides a list of spiritual fruit that is the result of having the Holy Spirit dwelling within us and one of those fruit is love. Jesus tells us in John 15:4, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” Because He lives in us, we will bear His fruit which will overflow from us and the world will see and know that we belong to Him. So what is the distinguishing mark of being a disciple or follower of Jesus? Loving others as Jesus has loved us.
Because we are made in God’s image, we should reflect His love. It would be impossible for us to love like Jesus on our own. This unselfish, perfect love can only come from God.Tweet
Jesus showed no partiality in who he loved
We can’t love like Jesus and only love those who dress, talk, or act like us. Nor can love like Jesus and love only those in the same social or economic class as us. We can’t love like Jesus and only love those who have the same color of skin as us. We can’t love like Jesus and only love those who are of the same denomination as us. There are no exceptions to Jesus’ love. There is no one so far gone in sin that Jesus doesn’t love. So if we love as Jesus loved, we can not put limits to who we love either.
Jesus showed no partiality in who he loved our how he loved. In fact, Jesus loved us all so much that He gave His life for us. How did He love? Completely! His love for us cost Him the cross. — Julia BruceTweet
Jesus also showed no partiality in how he loved.
In fact, Jesus loved us all so much that He gave His life for us. How did He love? Completely. His love for us cost Him the cross. God knew before He ever created Adam and Eve that they would sin and it would send Jesus to the cross. He knew before He created you that you would sin and it would send Jesus to the cross – but He created us anyone because He loved us. Jesus willingly laid down his life because He loved us.
So does how you love others set a distinguishing mark on you as one of Jesus’ disciples? Does the world see how you love others and recognize you as a child of God?
What is the identifying mark of being a disciple or follower of Jesus? Loving others as Jesus has loved us. — Julia BruceTweet
Now you can enhance your Bible Reading with the Verse Mapping Template
Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.Verse Mapping
Download our Free 2021 Bible Memory Verse Plan
We’ve put together 52 memory verses for you to hide God’s Word in your heart! You can download the full document for free and then print a new verse each week and as many copies as you’d like. Each verse prints four times on a page so that you can then cut them into index size cards and place them in prominent places where you will see them frequently throughout the day to help you remember to memorize them. Just because you visited our site, they’re yours for free! Download today.2021 Memory Verse Plan
Download our Free 2021 Daily Bible Reading Plan
With just 30-40 minutes per day, you can read the entire Bible in one year. The One-Year Bible Reading Plan consists of both Old Testament and New Testament readings for each day of the year. The Bible is God’s personal Word to you. What is He saying to you today? Open your Bible and find out!One Year Bible Reading Plan
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The Self-Care Wheel provides ideas for practicing self-care in six dimensions of yourself: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Sensory, and Social. NOTE: You will need 11X14 paper to print the wheel.
Want to know more about self-care? Our Self-Care blog series targets people who serve in any ministry position and takes a Biblical approach to self-care.Self Care Wheel
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God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce
What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?
God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:
- Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
- Conversation Starters.
- Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages.
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- Personal reflections.
- Date ideas.
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