Bible Reading: 1 John 2:5-14

“Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling.” (1 John 2:9-11)

A sign of a true Christian is that they obey God’s commandments. When Jesus told this to His disciples (see John 15:10), He gave a simple commandment. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” ( John 15:12).

How much do we love each other? Firstly, we might have to ask, what is love? 

Jesus says in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends”. Likewise, Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.” 

Love is not just a warm feeling for others. Love is also not being kind to others so that they will return to us respect, a good relationship or anything you would want from others. The definition of love is who Christ is. He gave up His glory to come from heaven to earth to die on a cross for His enemies. The Holy One was willing to bear the dirty sins of His people on the cross and face the Father’s wrath, which He did not deserve to face. The Author of Life gave up His life for His friends. 

Love is giving up all that we have so that others may receive the best. The best that anyone could ever have is a living relationship with God. How much sweat, grit, and tears do we give to love those around us in our community? How much do we care how their personal relationships with God are going? How much do we pray for our friends, family and church members, whether they are mature, new, or nominal Christians?

If we have received Christ’s love, we ought to live following in Christ’s footsteps. Christ is the definition of love. His way of sacrifice was the path of love. Do we follow it? If we do not care and, in fact, hate those who are around us, we show how selfish we are towards God and towards others. 

This commandment of love is one for every single believer, whether they are new or mature believers. John addresses the commandment to love to children, fathers and young men, addressing all the different kinds of people in the church at different points on the walk of faith. 

Love is contrary to our sinful nature. In our sin, we only love ourselves and want to do what pleases us. If we are kind towards others, it is because we expect something in return for ourselves. So, John reminds us to look to Christ and learn to love others the way Jesus loved us. Are we willing to obey Him? 

Lord, please teach me what it means to love those around me. Give me an open heart that thinks about others. You have loved me to the point of dying on the cross for me. Teach me to sacrifice myself to follow You and to love others. In Jesus’ name, amen.