Devotional

“This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” – John 15:12-14. 

 Are you passionate about Jesus because He changed your life? Are you undone by His love, crazy about His grace, overwhelmed by His mercy, and want your life to be a continual reflection of Him? That’s what we want to be about.  It starts with love. 

What if we made it our mission?  What if it stopped being about everything we receive and became about what we can give? What if, when we feel slighted or excluded from a situation, we do not hold tight to bitterness or fear and still offer love freely like Jesus?

Wouldn’t that be incredible? To be the people who love more, forgive freely, give grace abundantly, and walk in a confidence that stems from the ever-flowing love of Jesus? That would be the gospel in action. 

Ephesians 5:1-2 in the Passion Translation (TPT) says, “Follow God and imitate all he does in everything you do, for then you will represent your Father as his beloved sons and daughters. And continue to walk surrendered to the extravagant love of Christ, for he surrendered his life as a sacrifice for us. His great love for us was pleasing to God, like an aroma of adoration—a sweet healing fragrance in heaven and earth.”  

“…Continue to walk surrendered to the extravagant love of Christ…” Paul is asking us to imitate God’s forgiving love into action in our lives. And then, to strengthen His instruction, Paul pointed us to the individual who can be an example of what walking in love looks like for us: Christ Jesus. Imitating the love of Christ means we don’t love others part of the time, or as an exception to the rule or as a religious duty on Sundays. We are to love our neighbors, whether they live in our home, sit in the next cubicle or live miles away. We are not to love others once in a while, or as an exception to the rule, or as some kind of special religious duty. Rather, love is to be our way of life, our daily pattern of behavior. Imitation means loving as God loves. 

We need the power of God to love as He does.  Fortunately, He gave us that power. The Holy Spirit living within us is His power for us to use. We need only to allow Him to live in us, guiding and convicting us, He provides the strength and power to help us fulfill His love commandments.  Philippians 2:13 says, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”

 Not that loving like Jesus is easy. Jesus sets the bar ridiculously high. To love like Jesus takes action and commitment.  Underneath it all, we need the desire and motivation to love like Him. Try to be mindful each day and look for opportunities to show His love. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. How can we imitate the love of Jesus in our daily lives?  
  2. How can we do this week to walk in love?