Summary: Learning to love like Jesus
Last week we studied together what it meant to live like Jesus lived. This week we are looking at loving like Jesus loved.
Love is intimidating. It is the most mystical and heavenly expression of the Kingdom you can know. And of course, Jesus set the bar very high when it comes to love. And souls intuitively know how far short they fall. Still, love is the one power that will change the world, and God is intent upon establishing His love as the consuming motivation and empowering liberation for every man, woman, and child who chooses to represent Him on planet earth. When authentic love is encountered, everyone present knows that something of heaven has come to earth. The redemption of salvation is a restoration to love – the ability to both receive an outrageous love from God and in turn give it away. To love well requires both sacrifice and service. – The New Rebellion Handbook
The life of Jesus is told through a collection of stories and pictures we call the gospels. These stories and pictures give us a vivid accounting of how Jesus loved. His death on the cross demonstrates the extent of His Love. To love like Jesus loved can be seen clearly in His relationship with His disciples, His commitment to Mary and Martha, His devotion
to His own mother, His grace demonstrated to the woman caught in the very act of adultery, His tears for Jerusalem, His friendship with “sinners,” and His forgiveness to His executioners. Loving like Jesus loved is a lifelong quest of extending His love to those around us in practical ways.
Andrew Murray wrote, “Our love to God is measured by our everyday fellowship with others and the love it displays.”
In the book of John, Jesus said this:
34So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples." John 13:34-35
Matthew recorded these words of Jesus:
34But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they thought up a fresh question of their own to ask him. 35One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36"Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?"
37Jesus replied, " `You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’[e] 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39A second is equally important: `Love your neighbor as yourself.’[f] 40All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments." Matthew 22:34-40
This is no suggestion. He commanded us to love one another. It is not an option. It doesn’t matter whether you feel like others or not. It is commanded. It’s not up to you to decide which people you are going to love. Jesus commanded you and I to love each other. No exceptions.
“In his book Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis wrote,
“Do not waste your time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor, act as if you did. As soon as we do this, we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more. If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less.” (Our Daily Bread, February 14)
There are three very important life lessons to be learned by studying the life of Jesus and trying to love like He loved.
1. Loving like Jesus means I will be faithful
Faithfulness is always rooted in love. Being faithful means that we keep our promises. This affects our work ethic, relationships in our marriages and families and any other place where we are doing life with others.
Faithfulness is loving and it is caring about people. Let me give you a couple of areas to think about.
Love will make us faithful in our marriages.
We are living in a society that constantly tears away at the fabric of marriage. If you are tuned in to the culture of current television then think about the most popular shows and tell me what they have done for marriage.
Love is what keeps us faithful. We make a covenant before God and our family and friends that says we will love you in sickness and in health. For better or worse. Everything about a marriage ceremony is screaming faithfulness. Are you being faithful in your relationship? Not being faithful is not an option for a genuine Christ follower.
Hopefully your love is deeper than the letter I read this week while researching this message. It reads as follows: