The Lord God almighty surely doesn’t have a new commandment, does He? Imagine my surprise when I found out after years of believing in Jesus Christ as Lord that He most assuredly does have a new commandment! Are you familiar with the Lord’s new commandment?
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” John 13:34
But wait a moment. There isn’t anything new about this commandment to love one another, is there? For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what was new about this commandment. The Lord patiently and graciously used one of His follower’s teachings to bring to light this awesome, powerful, and challenging truth.
The Lord in this verse doesn’t merely tell us to love one another. He tells us to love each other AS HE HAS LOVED US! Wow! The Bible makes clear the love of Jesus is sacrificial, generous, kind, giving, patient, encouraging, unconditional, forgiving, merciful, compassionate, caring, comforting, etc.
Please meditate on this:
“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:12-13
Here the Lord again tells us to love each other AS HE HAS LOVED US. What is the very most obvious way the Lord has loved us? JESUS CHRIST IS LORD AND DIED ON THE CROSS TO PAY OUR SIN PENALTY AND WAS RAISED FROM THE DEAD so all who repent and believe in Him as Lord, and in His death and resurrection, turning from our sins to God and His ways are forgiven and given forever life with Him.
Jesus LAID DOWN HIS LIFE FOR US and calls us in loving each other to lay down our lives for one another! Now He may not lead you and I to physically die for someone else, but He teaches us in the Bible to die to self and to live for Him. His greatest commandments are to love Him with all our hearts and others as ourselves. We are to lay down our lives for others by loving and serving Him and others with the cost of denying anything we want that does not line up with His will.
We are to sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice for others as He sacrificed for us and say no to our flesh, to our wishes, ways, and wants in the process when they are not the will of God. We as followers of Jesus are not to live for self. We are to live for Him. And, in living for Him, we are to live a life of sacrifice for others as He so leads us! No matter the cost to our flesh! Even when it hurts. Even when it’s hard. Even when we don’t get what we want. Even when we have to let go of what we want. Even when we don’t receive what we want in return. Even when we receive nothing at all in return. No matter what we may have to give up to love, help, bless, and give to others.
This new commandment is so very challenging, friend, isn’t it, and yet the Lord by the Holy Spirit who lives inside His followers will give us the love, mercy, grace, peace, joy, hope, compassion, comfort, care, kindness, patience, humility, strength, power, courage, boldness, absolutely all we need to love others as He has loved us!
We don’t have to nor can we come up with all of this on our own! We are to say NO to our selfish, self-self-seeking, self-centered fleshly, sinful ways, and, in this death to self, we are to say YES to Christ and give the Spirit of Christ who dwells in His followers free reign to live and love in and through us. All for the glory of Christ! Being careful never to take glory for ourselves! Oh, hallelujah! Oh, yes!
Please be encouraged with this:
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20