Over the past few weeks, we have meditated on transitions and doors or opportunities that God has been opening in our lives. One of those opportunities, as our Pastor so aptly reminded us on Sunday, is the opportunity to love others. The powerful word that the Lord ministered reminded us that loving God is not enough. We must love one another. We tend to think that ministry is about what we can do in the pulpit, but real ministry is about love. When we love God with our whole heart, soul and mind, then we have the capacity to truly love our neighbour. In John 13:34-35, Jesus reminds us that we will be known by our love. Whew! Think about that for a moment… your ability to show love is your greatest identifying feature; more than the colour of your eyes or the shape of your nose, or the way that your hair curls over your ears… you are known by your love. It is how we are known to one another and it should be how we identified in the world at large.
Lately the news has been full of reports of all the effects of sin and systemic hate. It is more evidence than ever of the need for love in the world today. The world doesn’t need more science, more social engineering, more teaching. The answer is not in more knowledge, more power, not even in more preaching…the greatest need in the world today is the need for love. And the beautiful thing about love is that we all have the ability to show it and everything responds to love.
Read Matthew 22:37-38 and John 13:34-35
What do you think Jesus was getting at when He instructed us to love with all our heart, mind and soul? What are the implications of half-hearted or conflicted love?
Christian teacher Joyce Meyers coined the phrase, “hurt people, hurt people” and John 13:35 reminds us that we are to love others as we love ourselves. How important is healing and self-love in our journey to fully love others?
What does it mean to be known y our love? How do you identify love from others, and how do you show love to others?
Are you doing what you can to love earnestly and to overlook a number of minor offences from other people, or do you tend to hold on to grudges? What concrete actions can you take to shift these tendencies?
Loving one another includes being willing to respectfully confront one another when necessary, in order to find solutions to disagreements and to forgive those who hurt you. Can you lovingly confront situations without becoming angry, hostile, or destructive? Is this an area where the enemy attempts to find a foothold in your life? Be honest before God. The truth of our flaws does not intimidate Him.
At the risk of sounding morbid…Imagine reading your own obituary. What would you want it to say about the way you loved others? How would it report your legacy of love that would continue long after you are gone?