Have you ever thought about that fact that we’re called to be joyful in loving others? It’s no secret that 2020 has been filled with a lot of division, but there has also been ample opportunity to love those we don’t necessarily agree with. I think of Judas betraying Jesus and the love that was still shown to Judas by Jesus. It would’ve been easy for Jesus to make Judas leave the table and send him away, but Jesus didn’t take the easy route; He took the route of love and grace.
In John 16: 11-12, Jesus says, “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.”
Before Jesus was crucified, He left us with two very important commandments:
1- Love the Lord with all your heart, mind, and soul.
2- Love your neighbor as yourself.
Most of us have grown up being taught that love is a feeling; however, the Bible reveals something different. In a Christian view of love, love is an action. We can make the choice to love our enemies by our actions. When Christ died for us on the cross, He died for his friends and His enemies. This was the ultimate action of love.
In verse 12, Jesus says to love each other as He has loved us. So, how has Jesus shown His love for us? Jesus healed the sick (Matthew 14:14), raised the dead (John 11:35-36), fed the hungry (Matthew 15: 32-39), spread The Good News (Mark 6:34), cast out demons (Matthew 8:16), interceded on the behalf of others (John 17: 20-21), and gave His life for everyone (John 3:16). We may not be going out and casting out demons, but we can perform acts of love by offering grace, lending a listening ear without showing judgement, sharing our possessions, offering our time, and sharing God’s Word.
I want to encourage you today to think of those you may view as enemies or those who you don’t agree with. How does Jesus see them? How can you reach out and be an example of His love? When you act out of an overflow of Christ’s love in you, His joy will permeate to those around you.