Love one another. 1 John 4:7
Sometimes, with good intentions, Christ’s love is presented as an entirely unstructured, formless, even mushy sentiment comparable to the feeling of a doting grandfather. So it behooves us to consider the Savior’s love as something that has body to it – that is very real and has functioning power.
The love that Jesus has, and that He wants us to share with one another, has a source and therefore a great force. Christ’s kind of love is not limited. It went all-out. It went the total distance in that He laid down His life so that He might restore us to fellowship with God, our heavenly Father.
The love Jesus wants us to exercise among ourselves needs a standard of comparison. Previously the commandments on the second table of the Law had said, in summary: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27). Jesus explains this in its fullest sense when He states in His “new command”: “As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34). That means: Let your love go all the way!
The love Jesus has, and which He wants us to practice as we live day by day in an intimate human fellowship, particularly in the family, needs an object. Far from loving abstract beings, it concerns itself with flesh-and-blood persons. Where but in the close marriage and home relationships does such love find its immediate – and very real – object?
In his first epistle, Saint John has more to say about the love lessons learned from Jesus. He knows how love welds parents and children together as they live under Christ’s love. This love, because it is love, must sometimes be “tough.” If it were lax, ignoring what is right in the sight of God, it wouldn’t be love. The motivation for true love comes from Christ’s love as the source. Saint John states, “I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of His name. I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning” (1 John 2:12-13). The sum of it all is this: “Love one another” (1 John 3:11).
PRAYER: Thank you, Dear Lord, for loving parents, and especially on this Father’s Day, thank You for my loving, caring father. Help me to reflect my earthly father’s love as I also reflect my heavenly Father’s love. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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