I am humble and honest to say that before I became a follower of Jesus, I had no idea or understanding of what true love is. I didn’t even know what the true meaning of love was or what transformational love meant until I welcomed the Lord Jesus into my heart. From that moment on, my life was never the same again. I am filled with the God of love and the love of God in my life. Day by day I am learning to love others as Jesus has loved me. I believe that one of the most important things in life that people do really need is ‘LOVE’. People need to love and to be loved. I ask the Spirit of God to teach me how to live a life of love with His help. One of the Scripture verses that impacts my life is in the gospel of John 13:34-35 (NIRV). Jesus said,
“34 I give you a new command. Love one another. You must love one another, just as I have loved you. 35 If you love one another, everyone will know you are my disciples.”
Here we have at least three principles of truth that Jesus taught us in living a life of love:
1. The Word of Love – “34 I give you a new command. Love one another.”
The moment you and I received Christ into our hearts, we are automatically entrusted with the precious and powerful gifts called, ‘the fruits of the Spirit’ listed in Galatians 5:22-23. Love is one of these nine fruits of God’s Spirit. He wants us to produce much of these fruits for His gracious and glorious name. A new command was given by Jesus Himself; it is a specific and simple command for all the children of God who know and love Jesus. It is a command for the household of God to obey. We are commanded to love one another. When we obey Jesus’ command, we prove that we truly love Him (John 14:15). In spite of who we are, whether we are red, yellow, black, or white, male or female, slave or free, Jewish, Greek, or Gentile - maybe some people have a different background or looks different from us, but it does not matter; what matters is that we ought to love one another (John 15:17).
2. The Way of Love – “34You must love one another, just as I have loved you.” Some people have misunderstood love. Oftentimes people think that love is just a feeling, or perhaps you have heard people say, ‘I fall in love.’ I noticed that the way of love demonstrated in the Bible, however, is not just a feeling, but also one’s actions. When Jesus loved people, He always demonstrated this in the way He lived; He lived a life of love. Here are some important things about true love as described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NLT); we call it, ‘The Chapter of Love’ because it describes the way of love very clearly and precisely. If you really want to know if you truly love someone, you ought to check with this Scripture passage. Here is the way of love: “4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 8 Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Jesus demonstrated His sacrificial love for the church in Ephesians 5:25 (NIRV), that is the way Jesus wants us to love one another.
3. The Witness of Love – “35 If you love one another, everyone will know you are my disciples.” Love is one the most powerful things that God uses. Love has the power to capture the heart of people everywhere. Love is so contagious; whoever is touched by this love will never be the same again. Love also has the power to change people. It not only changes the hearts of those who possess it, but it also changes the heart of those around them. Jesus said, 35 If you love one another, everyone will know you are my disciples.’ Jesus did not say, ‘If we serve in the church, sing in the church, or share in the church, etc.’ Rather, He said, ‘if we love one another, everyone will know that we are His disciples.’ I have a plaque that says, ‘May you live a life of love all the days of your life.’ This is a good way to remind myself and all of us. Because we are the people of love, let us continue to ‘walk in love’ (Ephesians 5:2) and pursue love (1 Corinthians 14:1) all the days of our lives. When we love one another, it becomes a powerful witness to those around us.
I am forever grateful to God for the love that He has demonstrated among us in our First Covenant family. This love proves that we are people of love as God desires us to live. My prayer for us all is as the apostle prayed for the church of the Lord Jesus Christ in his day, “12 And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows.” Amen.