If you came over from Encouragement for Today, welcome! I’m so glad you are here. In this devotional I shared the challenge of loving like Jesus, and what that might look like. Today I take that a little deeper.
It’s fascinating to watch Jesus interact with the disciples.
They trailed him everywhere he went. They slept close by, whether under the stars or in the upper room of a stranger’s home. They watched as people mocked him or threw verbal stones. They were witnesses as people cried out to him in pain, suffering, and loneliness.
They had a front row seat as Jesus prayed for people, spoke life into them, uttered truth, and pulled them close, touching them when everyone else had said, “Unclean, unclean, unclean!”
So, when Jesus shared this new commandment, they understood what he was asking them to do.
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35 (NLT)
This wasn’t a vague feel-good commandment.
This commandment came with specific instructions. “Love others like I have loved you.”
When I think about the ways that Jesus has loved me, it brings me to tears.
He has been patient with me.
He has been close, whether I’m on a mountain top or deep in a pit.
He has believed in me, when I struggled to believe in myself.
He has forgiven me.
And that’s only the beginning of the ways Jesus has loved me.
What does it look like to love like Jesus loves us?
We may struggle with this question because people have hurt us. We may believe that this kind of love might open the door for someone to take advantage. Perhaps we don’t think we can love like Jesus because we are angry or hurt. Or maybe we feel we have too little to offer.
Isn’t it funny how we make our questions of faith so complicated? In this commandment, Jesus was asking the disciples to take a good look at the ways he has loved them. . . and then to share that with others.
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A few weeks ago a friend was hurting. I didn’t know how to respond. However, loving her like Jesus has loved me meant that I could show up in that hard place. I could listen. I could remind her of her value.
When I did this, the burden she carried in was a little lighter when she left.
Will you join me in a sweet challenge today?
When God places that person in your path today, no matter who it is, will you ask this question: How can I love this person like you have loved me?
As we love others like Jesus loves us, it changes things. Maybe a conversation takes a different turn. Maybe a grudge is exchanged for mercy. Perhaps we listen and offer empathy or prayer, or hold back words that would add weight to an already heavy burden.
That’s world-changing faith, but the most drastic change starts in our own hearts and that’s a beautiful gift.
Q: How has Jesus loved you? (Write it in your journal or share it here.)
I’m so excited about this offer from Proverbs 31 Ministries. They are offering my book, Come With Me Devotional, to everyone for a gift of any amount. It’s a hardbound, embossed, beautiful devotional that will allow you to walk with Jesus five days a week all year long.
Get your copy of this timeless devotional today to help you draw closer to Jesus through every step of your journey. It’s also a great, early Christmas gift.
A freebie for you
I professionally recorded several of the devotions in this book. I want to share five of them with you today. I pray they encourage you!
More than a carpenter
You are wanted