Listen to this devotional:
John 13:34 – I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another. (AMP)
Initially in my early church life, I'd be most uncomfortable when anyone preached on the above Scripture. I didn't believe that I could attain to Jesus' love for every Christian in and outside my church. No, not me!
Oh, my, was I right! Acts 4:12b says, "There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (AMP) In the same vein, there is no other love by which we can obey Jesus' commandments to love and forgive one another as He loves and forgives us — continually.
But Jesus came to renew my life, to give me His resurrection life and nature. Even though He knew of my heart's unbelieving condition at that time, He came into my heart just the same. Such grace! Only He and I know how very much I needed His love and forgiveness.
So for me, it has been this initial revelation truth: His amazing, forgiving love, grace, mercy, and compassion, which kept filling my heart and soul, that gradually softened, settled, and expanded within me a strong belief in the possibilities and desires of His love. Then came a new willingness to open up enough to allow a trickle of Jesus' loving, forgiving nature out to others.
God's Word gradually becomes His nature in us. Then we have the spiritual energy to overrule our flesh and let His love flow.
1 John 5:3 – For the [true] love of God is this: that we do His commands [keep His ordinances and are mindful of His precepts and teaching]. And these orders of His are not irksome (burdensome, oppressive, or grievous). (AMP)
As the desire increased to obey Him, so the tiny trickling of love graduated to an easy flow, which amazed and delighted me. Gradually, week by week, I found myself more comfortably conforming to and agreeing with the Lord's commandments. My reticence began to change into tentative confidence with people; standing back turned into approaching; a mere smile extended to a touch, a hug, listening, interacting, inquiring, helping, inviting, empathy, caring, overlooking, forbearing, and forgiving in Jesus' love.
I so thoroughly enjoyed this effect on others and myself that I persistently nagged in prayer to be an open, free-flowing channel of Jesus' love, and these days, I'm still persistently nagging to become a consistently gushing, overflowing "river" of Jesus' gracious forgiveness and love, as He ever is to me and to us.
Romans 5:5 – Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us. (AMP)
As we commit willingly to Jesus' love filling our hearts, we'll ever have sufficient supply to flow out to others, and we will accomplish His every intended purpose in His Church and His created world. We will!
Prayer: Thank You, Jesus Lord, that You have so honoured and commissioned us to love in Your name. Thank You for Your exceedingly abundant love, grace, and holy nature, which we ever need to obey Your Word and to accomplish Your kingdom purposes during our lives in such a time as this. We do not have to "miss it". In Your victorious name, thank You. Amen and Amen!