After pondering this verse, an old 1960’s praise song came to mind. It’s premise comes from John 13:34-35, where Jesus is giving the command to love one another, “for by this all men will know that you are My disciples.” The title of the song is, “They will know we are Christians by our love.” So my question to you today is… does the world know you by the love you share with the lost? And does the world recognize your Church Body for its love for those outside the four walls of the sanctuary? We are to love one another, but we are to also take that love out to reach the unsaved.
Without hesitation I know you’d answer a resounding “Yes!” to my question of whether you’d die for your spouse or children. But if we look closely at this verse, we’re not being asked to do that. Rather, we’re being directed to lay down our lives for our fellow Christians . OK wait, you want me to sacrifice for who? My family is one thing, but a neighbor or friend or somebody I hardly know at Church…I don’t know if I can do that. But when Jesus died on that Cross He didn’t pick and choose who He was dying for…He died for all. In John 10:11 it says, ” I am the good Shepherd. The good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” To love one another with the Agape love that Christ first showed us is to be willing to be poured out like a drink offering for our brothers…regardless of who they are.
As people waited in the crowded lobby, I over-heard a kind looking elderly gentleman ask the young lady seated next to him a rather probing question. She was bent over her phone, oblivious to anything or one around her, when he asked, “What would you be doing right now if you weren’t on your phone?” His tone of voice was gentle and reflective, which completely caught the young lady off guard and rendered her speechless. His question though got my mind whirling! How can we show the agape love of Christ to others when we’re folded up like a flower over our phones? How can we be Jesus to those around us when we totally disengaged from our surroundings…detached and indifferent? This verse says we are to be united in love which takes dedicated involvement and connection…not self-isolation and selfishness.
God is love. The agape kind of unconditional love that says regardless of how many times I mess up, He’ll still love me. The agape kind of love that caused God to send His only Son to earth to die in my place for my sins. The agape kind of love, that if the Holy Spirit is in me, I will emulate it also.