Loving Like Jesus
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Loving others the way God intended isn’t easy. In fact, chances are you have experienced someone in your life who made it difficult for you to love them. And perhaps you were even one of those people. If I’m honest, I know I have been.
At one point in my life, I was negative and self-focused. My inability to see and be grateful for the good things in my life caused people to take a step back from me when I needed them the most. It is draining to be around someone who is negative all the time, especially when they don’t seem to want to hear anything positive or encouraging. The truth is that those people who are difficult to be around are often the ones who need to be loved and to be shown the love of God the most.
The Bible tells us that we need to love one another because God loved us first. We shouldn’t pretend to love others but genuinely love. When we truly take delight in and honor one another, we are choosing to love as Jesus did. (Read 1 John 4:19, Romans 5:8, and Romans 12:9-10.)
God is the personification of love. This genuine love is how others will know we are His followers. We should love others because God loves us—and in loving as He did, we will bring others to Him (1 John 4:7-12).
The spiritual gifts and the God-given talents you have been entrusted with were designed to work in tandem with the love of God. They are not for your personal edification but for the edification of the body of Christ for the glory of God. When we try to operate in our gifts and talents without love, we won’t be fruitful.
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3 NLT)
One of the main roles we have as followers of Jesus Christ is to allow His Holy Spirit to make us more like Him. Loving others as He does is a big part of that.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
This description of what it looks like to love one another is characteristic of who Jesus is and how He has loved us and treated us. He is patient and kind. He is not jealous, boastful, proud, or rude. Jesus does not demand His own way. He is not irritable and keeps no record of our sins. He does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins. Jesus never gives up on us, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and always endures.
Father God, I want to be more like Jesus in all that I do. Help me to love others and to see others as You do. Help me to love others in such a way that it leads them to come to You to receive Your perfect love for them. Let Your love be evident in all I say and in all I do. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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