A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34
A new command. Not a suggestion or a good idea. A command.
The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. I John 2:4
Last week I wrote that following Jesus’ new command means we’d be willing to give our very lives. That’s true. But in reflecting on it, I’ve realized it means SOOO much more.
How did Jesus love us? He loved us by leaving behind the perfection of Heaven. In exchange he became utterly poor.
For 33 years, He gave up HIS beautiful, clean, comfortable home for germs and bugs and rodents, for no comfy bed & pillow, no A/C or heat, and I’m guessing a staggering change in diet; health for sickness; riches beyond our wildest imagination for a life of poverty. He gave EVERYTHING to have NOTHING.
This paints a more complete picture of how we are to love, doesn’t it?
Bear in mind, our life here is but a vapor. Anything we give up or give away here, we gain for eternity. Jesus isn’t a kill-joy. He came that we might have life and have it ABUNDANTLY! We experience that abundance here by loving Jesus and loving others. And we will experience that abundance in the perfection and luxury of heaven forever–no sickness, death, disease or poverty!
Did you know if you earn $25,000 a year, you are wealthier than 90% of the world’s population. $50,000/yr?–wealthier than 99% of the world! We Americans are filthy rich. If we don’t feel that way, it’s because we’ve set a standard of living so high and immersed ourselves so deep in debt–even just in home mortgages–that we don’t FEEL rich.
“We don’t believe we are wealthy, so we don’t see it as our responsibility to help the poor. We are deceived.” Richard Stearns, President of World Vision.
Nearly half the world lives on $700/year. And it’s not because stuff is cheap. It’s just because they live without. Or they don’t live. There’s still nearly 20,000 children dying EVERY DAY from easily-fixed problems.
“There is no greater expression of money’s total lack of dominance over us or of its low priority in our lives than when we can with joy and peace, give it away for the Lord’s work.” Richard Stearns
So, what will we do? How will we obey the command to love as He loved us?
Comments are open. Would love to hear your thoughts.
Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. Deuteronomy 30:11-14