The snow has arrived (and gone)! So it seems appropriate to share with you the latest addition to my Christmas decoration collection. While the others made their way to the attic last week, I couldn’t quite bear to part with this little snow globe just yet. I love the fact it looks knitted, but in particular I need the constant reminder of the message it has written on it.
“Love one another as I have loved you.”
…as I have loved you.
Not…”as you think best” or
“as you feel like it” or
“as other people love you” or
“whenever you have the energy” or
“whenever you have time” or
“whenever it’s easy and people will say thank you”.
Today we will explore some verses that tell and show us how God loves; this is the pattern that we are commanded to follow.
Matthew 5 v 43-45
Matthew 20 v 26-28
Yesterday we were challenged about loving our enemies. Perhaps you’ve identified someone who you find it difficult to love at the minute. How does God set us a perfect example of loving our enemies in Matt 4 v 45? How can you make sure you treat that person as well as you do your friends?
List 3 ways that you could be a servant to others, following Jesus’ example from Matt 20.
Of course we’ll not always feel like loving everyone we meet and we’ll not always feel like being a servant to other people, especially when they seem ungrateful and have done nothing to deserve our love. However, we can’t rely on our feelings to dictate the way we should behave. (I mean do you always feel like getting out of bed in the morning? Of course not, but you know you have to!) Often to allow the fruit of the Spirit to grow in our lives we have to decide to act a particular way, even when we don’t feel like it. The Bible refers to this as “setting your mind”. We decide what direction we are going to go in based on what we know to be right and we steer in that direction without wavering off course.
Luke 9 v 51
Ephesians 5 v 1, 2
John 15 v 12, 13
These verses all refer to Jesus showing His ultimate love for us by laying down His life for us.
In Luke 9 v 51 it says “Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem”. Read other translations, or use a dictionary to help you understand what this meant. It is an example of Jesus “setting His mind”. Remember for Jesus going to Jerusalem meant He was going to be killed!
Jesus was fully human. This meant He would naturally be dreading the experience that lay ahead of Him but he was determined to go through with it, no matter how He felt or what His emotions were telling Him.
Write out any of these verses you want to focus on and memorise. Spend some time thinking about what it meant for Jesus to lay down His life for us. What would our hope have been if He hadn’t done that? You could perhaps write a prayer to the Lord Jesus thanking Him for loving us so much.
Listening to the words of “The Power of the Cross” (below) may help you to worship and thank the Lord.
Love….as I have loved you.
Spend some time reading accounts of what it cost the Lord Jesus to die for us in Isaiah 53 and Mark 15 v 16-39.