John 15:10-12 (NIV)– 10 “If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
*I wrote this devotional for my local church*
Sometimes, I don’t know what God wants from me. Does He want a super-Christian-soldier for Jesus? Does He want an active civic leader who moves mountains? Does He want a sage, one who gives out perfect wisdom to all who ask (or don’t)? Does He want a comedian or a critic, a bard or a cultural commentator?
I get stressed out because I want to know what to do in a crazy world. Give me my marching orders, and then everything will be clear and I can rest in that role. Maybe you can relate to this confusion?
When I am in this position, I go to Scripture. What does the Bible say? These are the words of Jesus, and their clarity cut through a lot of the noise in the world (John 15:10-12, NIV): 10 “If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
We have one marching order. That’s it. Now, this one order can get complicated, but it is still one order. Because God loves us first and we love God in response, we are to love one another. This is the length of our directions: “Love each other as I have loved you.”
When you go to make that social media post describing some politician you do not know personally, are you loving that person by the way you phrase it? When you talk to a close friend about your spouse after an argument, are you loving your spouse by the way you talk about him or her? As everyone becomes an expert on every topic ever known to mankind on social media, are you willing to love those around you by the way you phrase your opinion?
“But, no one is perfect! I can’t love people perfectly. The bar is too high,” you may respond.
I agree, which is why we always point to Jesus as our pride and joy, the one who is perfect for us. He did what we could not do, and we rest in his righteousness. The best way to love one another is to keep Jesus as the center of every day, friendship, work week, etc. The best way to love one another is to rest in the love that the Father has lavished upon us (1 John 3:1).
As Christians, we find our peace in what has been done on the cross. We find our identity in the God we worship. We find our marching orders in the life of Jesus Christ. As God has loved us, let us love one another.
Thank you for all you are and all you’ve done. Thank you for sending your Son Jesus Christ to earth to live the perfect life that we could not and to die as a sacrifice for our sins upon the cross. We pray for your strength to love others as you’ve loved us, and we pray for your forgiveness when we sin against you by not treating others as we should. We pray for your Holy Spirit to give us wisdom as we navigate this crazy world.
In the name of your Son Jesus Christ,