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To Love As Jesus Loved: The Importance Of Love

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SIH TOTT ICON
(John 15:9-1
4) – As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and [that] your joy might be full.
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

This lesson is the first in a series of devotionals entitled “To Love As Jesus Loved”. This series was suggested to me in the poll that was posted on SIH concerning future subjects that would like to be covered. The suggestion was made anonymously, so I cannot give credit to where credit is due for this series.

Basically, this series will take short glimpses of examples of Christ showing His love to others, in relation to the characteristics of love found in 1 Corinthians 13:.   This will be done in an effort to remind us of His great love for us, and our responsibility to display this same type of love to those around us.

 

 

 

But before we begin to look at the life of Christ on earth, I would like us to see a few of the important truths about love that Christ taught to us during His earthly ministry…


Christ’s Teaching:

One of the subjects Christ addressed during His earthly ministry was “The Importance Of Love”…

Loving others is not simply loving others with a human love, but it is handing down the love of Christ to others…

As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

Christ teaches us that we are to hand down His love to others, just as He handed down the Father’s love to us.

How did He “hand down” His Father’s love? He did this by giving of Himself for those in physical and, especially, spiritual need.

How do we to hand down Christ’s love to others? In the very same way…by sacrificing ourselves on behalf of those who have physical and spiritual needs.

 

Loving others and keeping His commandments go hand in hand…

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

Love and the keeping of God’s commands go hand in hand. If we truly love others, we will keep His commands towards them. For example, if we love others… we will not lie to them, we will not steal from them, nor will we covet what they own.

This same principle holds true for Christ’s love to us, because He loves us… He does not lie to us, nor does He treat us unjustly, nor does He seek our harm. Due to His great love He ALWAYS works for the benefit of His people. No exceptions.

If we keep these principles in mind, this verse becomes much easier to understand…

“to abide in His love” is describing a Christian consistently living a life that is displaying Christ’s love to others. In other words, it is living a lifestyle that reflects Christ’s love. To put it another way, it is consistently living in obedience to His commands towards others.

When He says “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love”, He is simply saying…

“when you consistently keep my commands, your walk of life is consistently exhibiting my love”.

In the same way, when He says “even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love”, He is simply saying

“as I kept His Father’s commands while on earth, my lifestyle was a consistent reflection of my Father’s love to you”.

 

 Loving others results in overflowing joy that satisfies…

These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and [that] your joy might be full.

One of the great motivations for our loving others is the great joy that we will receive. This joy will be a consistent, overflowing joy that will completely satisfy us.

 

 Loving others is a responsibility given to us by our Lord…

This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

It is our responsibility to love others because He has commanded us to do so.

This is why following the example of Christ, and His love for others, is not only an opportunity to receive great satisfying joy, but is also an opportunity for submission and obedience to the Lord and eternal rewards.

 

 Love is sacrifice of oneself for the benefit of others… 

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

If we think about it, every act of love involves self-sacrifice for others.

For example, when we show our love by patiently waiting for someone to go to an appointment, we are opening up ourselves to possible loss or other harm. By waiting we might arrive to the appointment late and be embarrassed, we may miss the appointment entirely and have to reschedule another, or we may get a speeding ticket in our haste to make the appointment on time.

In any case, it was opening ourselves up to loss and harm by patiently waiting upon the late running person. That is love… being willing to suffer loss so another may benefit from our actions.   Every act of love contains both characteristics… possible loss to the giver motivated by possible gain for the receiver. A quick glimpse of the definition of love found in 1 Corinthians 13: make this very clear.

Keeping this principle in mind… we can easily see why the greatest type of love is reflected in the ultimate sacrifice of oneself, the willingness to die physically so that another might gain. This is exactly what our Lord has done for us… He gave Himself on the cross so that we might secure eternal spiritual life.

 

Love for others is proof of our relationship with Christ… 

Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

Our possession of a Godly love for others is proof positive of our acceptance by Christ. It is only when we are accepted in the beloved through the work of Christ on the cross that we will find ourselves willing to exercise a SCRIPTURAL love for others. This type of self-sacrificial love is a fruit of the Spirit, and as such can only be possess by those who are saved and have the Spirit of God indwelling us.

 

Our Lesson To Be Learned:

So in response to the question, “Why is showing love to others important for the Christian” we can see through the teachings of Christ that there are several answers…

1. Loving others is not simply loving with a human love, but it is handing down the love of Christ to others…
2. Loving others and keeping His commandments go hand in hand…
3. Loving others results in overflowing joy that perfectly satisfies…
4. Loving others is a responsibility given to us by our Lord…
5. Loving others is a sacrifice of oneself for the benefit of others…
6. Loving others is proof of our relationship with Christ…

What is our basic, general conclusion of all these things?   Loving others, as Christ has loved us, is of absolute importance and, perhaps, THE FIRST PRIORITY for all Christians.

This is why we are undertaking this study. It is to simply emphasize, and explain Christ’s great love for us and what it involves to follow Christ’s example of loving others self-sacrificially.

 

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15 Comments

  1. "light and salt" says:

    Loving others…so easily said, so hard for some to do! But if we love the Lord, we will love others. By His command, we must learn to love as He loves us…

    Steve

  2. SLIMJIM says:

    I was just thinking about this today, how ministry is really a great test of whether one genuinely love others by the proper motivation of our love for Christ because He first loved us. Good study, I’ll have to look at the video later when it’s not so late (still have to watch the video from Saturday on spiritual gifts)

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Great point. Over the years I have thought on this alot as well. Are we simply “going through the motions” in our service to Christ, or are we serving Him motived by love for Him and others and appreciation for all He has done for us. I am afraid all of us are vulnerable to serving out of obligation and habit instead of love. May we all be on guard for this sinful type of service.

  3. I am grateful that you blogged about this. I use to be vulnerable to serving out of obligation when asked to do this or that in the church realm. I was not a happy server, which let me know it wasn’t my cup of the Lord’s will. 🙂 I learned this last year and a half that I must serve as the Lord guides me to serve totally out of love, not in the capacity of what/where others think I should serve. I tell ya Pastor Rob, The Lord is so good, especially when you sit and hear what His plans for you are and you follow Him in serving others. It’s all about Love. Great Post!
    Bless you!
    Still growing in Christ,
    Shelia

  4. Reblogged this on talkativeangel and commented:
    Truly, I Love You. Receive your blessings as you read this great post by Pastor Rob. Please follow the series on “To Love As Jesus Loved…”

  5. It is so easy to say we love others, but when we consider what it actually means to love as Jesus loves, we know we fall short. May we be willing to be challenged and changed as we study this. Thank you in advance for the coming blessings . . .

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