Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Do We Love One Another?

John 13:35

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

photo on 6-11-19 at 10.52 amDo we have a hard time loving others or showing love to others? I know some men who have a hard time showing love – or even saying I love you to family members. Speaking of men – we have our monthly men’s ministry meeting tonight at 7 pm. I hope to see you there.

Typically it is easier to say I love you to those who love us back or do nice things to us or for us. If someone is nice to us or shows us respect – it would seem easier to love them – right?

Loving others is not an easy command from Jesus. In today’s passage Jesus says that others will know we are His followers – His disciples – if we love one another. Think for a moment – are there folks we have a hard time loving?

Here’s today’s passage in partial context. John 13:34–35 – 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Here’s another passage that speaks to Jesus’ command to love others. Matthew 5:43–48 – 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

I appreciate this part of that passage – If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? Tax collectors were seen as the worst of sinners in Jesus’ dat – because they collected taxes from the Jewish people and gave them to the Roman government. They also often cheated the people. We are called to a higher calling sisters and brothers – than just loving those that love us or do nice things for us. We are called to love those who persecute us – those who say vile false things against us. I know this isn’t easy from personal experience – but it is following the example set forth by our Lord. When Jesus was being tormented and crucified – these were His words for us to follow – Luke 23:34 – Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”  And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

So who is it in our lives that we are struggling to love – to show love – to forgive – to get beyond our hurt? Maybe that should be our focus in our prayers this weekend. As we strive to spend more time in prayer – maybe this should be our prayer – Lord – show us those we have ill feelings toward and help us to love as You love.

Maybe showing love toward those who have a different political view or even voted for someone we didn’t? Or – maybe someone who has a different ideology – who might vote different than we would on denominational issues? Some of us might even have a hard time loving other family members because of some hurt long ago.

We’ll have plenty of time during the Presidential elections of 2020 and the General Conference 2020 to show love to those we differ with for sure.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

September 13, 2019 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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