Thursday, September 26, 2013

SIMPLE COMMAND...RIGHT?

Have you ever heard the phrase - Hugs Not Drugs?  Well, that is the expression of Love that I am made of. I Love to give Hugs.  I try to be as sensitive as possible to those who reject physical contact for whatever reason, but for those who try it or who are fully accepting - they get a warm, gentle bear hug from me. Forgive me if your style of hugging is the "A-frame", pat-you-on-the-back distant hugging stuff, but life is too short for that kind of sissy, physical contact.  That kind of hug falls in the category of Come On Man! (Nod To ESPN's C'MON MAN!).  Give me a hug that lets me know I'm Loved!

The Holy Spirit really wanted to emphasize Love by recalling Jesus' words as a command from God through the Apostle John.
  • "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." - John 13:34
  • "If you love me, you will obey what I command. - John 14:15
  • "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you." - John 15:12
  • "You are my friends if you do what I command." - John 15:14
  • "This is my command: Love each other." - John 15:17
In John 13:34 notice how the "command" is given and then repeated.  First there is the command to love one another.  Then there is the self-example by Christ followed by the second command of what kind of Love and how much Love should be given.  John 15:12 is very similar.

Within John 14:15 and John 15:14, the Holy Spirit tells John to communicate that God places Love and Friendship on the line when Loving Each Other is the goal. - "IF you love me, you will obey what I command." (John 14:15)  "You are my friends IF you do what I command."  (John 15:14)

Are you getting the message?  Do you see how important this was and still is to Jesus?  Important enough to give the follower(s) of Christ NO OPTION - command.  In addition, Jesus adds a qualifying remark to all those and for all those who follow Him - "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." - John 13:35

The joy of loving people is an adventure.  Loving anybody is a great experiment.  There are so many ways to express ones affection to another that it is pure joy and curiosity to see the response.  Of course, given in the right attitude and with the right heart Love will find it's way back to the sender.

You see Love is part of God's Law of Sowing and Reaping.  And God, knowing the awesome benefit Loving each other would bring, sent the ultimate example of Love personified - Jesus to sow Love so that He would reap a Kingdom of Love.  He showed us Love in His ministry toward the sick, dying, dead, and untouchables of the day.  He showed us Love in the words He used to build us up in Him and not tear us down.  And He showed us Love in the ultimate sacrifice for the state of relationship we were in with Father God - He died and rose again to redeem it.  As an old Degarmo and Key song called The Pledge says, "He died for me, I'll live for Him."

God is Love.  IF God lives within you Love is yearning to be shared and not withheld.  Love is a verb, an action word.  Grow the Kingdom of Love.  Display and Share Love with each other - out in the world and within the church.  So, as you respect Christ's sacrifice by living for Him, make sure you follow through with flying colors on this command - Love One Another.

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." (1 Corinthians 13:13)