What is one of the most lonely feelings? To come home to an empty house with no one waiting for you and no one to share the last days’ experiences with. I’ve been away celebrating my precious Sarah’s birthday and Mother’s Day. As I was approaching Springfield again last evening the lonely feeling washed over me.
I could think back just a few hours to a soon to be teen-age boy saying to me, “Do not even dare to leave without a hug!” My little Sarah Princess hung on to one of my legs and didn’t want to let it go. Brianna as usual bombarded me with the question, “Why do you have to go?”
It feels good to have those love memories!
When Jesus spent his last days with the disciples before his suffering on the cross, he told his disciples that he had to leave them. “Why do you have to go?” they probably asked many times. Then he held his long speech about love, and gave them a new commandment, to love one another.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” John 13:34
Jesus command is exceptional, not only should we love one another, but we ought to love as He loved us. The disciples who received this command had seen firsthand what that meant. They had walked with Him for three years.
They saw Jesus loving the unlovable, forgiving the unforgivable, touching the untouchable, taking into his arms those that they had sent away, condemning the hypocrisy of the religious leaders, whipping those who had made God’s House into a market place. His love was both tender and fierce.
The Apostle Paul prayed for the Church in Ephesus that they might be “rooted and grounded in love.” God is Love and in Him we should be rooted and grounded. Think of yourself as a tree. The deeper the root system goes, the stronger the tree. With God’s love in every fiber of your being you can be strong and withstand the storms.
The tree doesn’t have to think about manufacturing fruit. It is the nature of a tree to bear fruit. When we are rooted and grounded in Love we bear fruit in season. Compassion, peace, joy, patience, kindness, self-control, gratitude, forgiveness, integrity, righteousness, humility, truth, faithfulness, obedience, generosity, faithfulness, purity… the fruit of love is endless.
Where is the fruit manifested? We see it most clearly in the relationship one with another. “Love one another” was Jesus’ new command. To love God is not difficult. The testing of true love is when we love his children, as Jesus loved us.
To spread the fragrance of Christ, the aroma of God’s love, may our root system sink deep into the love of God.
I have put together some scriptures on love, on loving one another. To print the file, download it here: Jesus New Command
Prayer: Lord, help me to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which I have been called, with all
- gentleness, and
May I be eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Grant you to be strengthened with power through your Spirit in my inner being, so that Christ may dwell in my heart through faith—that I, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that I may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Inspired by Ephesians 4:1-3; 3:16-19)
Here are the Scriptures:
John 15:12-17 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you… You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.”
Mark 12:28-31 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Leviticus 19:18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.
James 2:8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.
Matthew 5:44 “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
1 Thessalonians 4:9 Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another.
1 Peter 1:22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.
1 John 4:7,8 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
1 John 4:19-21 We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot[a] love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
Hebrews 13:1 Let brotherly love continue.
Romans 13:8-10 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
1 Peter 4:8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
Colossians 3:12-14 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
1 Corinthians 16:14 Let all that you do be done in love.
Ephesians 5:21 Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Galatians 5:13 Through love serve one another.
Hebrews 10:24 Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.
1 John 3:18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
1 Peter 3:8 All of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.
Psalm 133:1 Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!
John 17:11 “And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.”
1 John 3:11, 23,24 For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another… And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.
Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.