Set Apart to Love

Set Apart to Love
How do people know that I'm a Christian? What sets a believer apart from anyone else in the world? It's often easier to blend in with the majority, but Jesus gave one commandment that--if followed--would guarantee those who didn't know Him yet, and those seeking more of life, would notice that Christians are different. They would see that following Jesus changes lives. And this would happen without us saying one “Thou shalt not" or "I believe or don’t believe in…”

“A new command I give you; Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34

The ‘old’ command, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” Leviticus 19:18 was given by God, through Moses to the Israelites in 1445 BC. The disciples knew this command and it was enough of a challenge to obey. But the new command would ask more. They were to love each other as Jesus loved them. If they obeyed it, it would be obvious to the world that they were disciples of Jesus.

“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35

Not only would they be set apart but they would have a bond that would hold them together. Jesus knew that if His disciples would follow this one command, they would survive in a hostile world where He was not physically present with them.

Jesus, through His love, was about to go to the cross as the sacrifice for the forgiveness of their sin and our sin.
Ephesians 5:2 says to be imitators of God; to live a life of love; just as Jesus gave Himself up as a sacrifice to God.

To be an imitator of God, I look for examples of Jesus’ active love in the gospels – the Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the Bible. Story after story tells of His amazing love.
    What does it mean to me to love others as He loves me?
  • It means that I have to forgive someone even when they don’t know they need forgiven. Even when they don't show any repentance. Jesus forgave me before I knew Him.

  • I have to forgive wrongs against me no matter how horrific. He forgave those who persecuted and abused Him. I was one of those before I met Him.

  • I may have to show love to that person few people would consider lovable. Deep down, I was anything but lovable before I knew Jesus.

  • I will have to go out of my way and out of my comfort zone to help someone in need. Jesus went without rest to heal the sick.

  • I may have to sacrifice my own comfort or even my future worldly expectations for the good of someone else. Jesus died on the cross to pay for my sin.

This is not work. These examples become a natural part of life as I love the Savior. Jesus continues to show me the way through His Spirit. When I didn't deserve it, He loved me. I still don't deserve it but He continues.

For relaxing entertaining fictional reading:

You Should Also Read:
Charity - God's Idea of Religion
Fruit of The Spirit
What Love Is

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