I have spent a fair bit of time in these daily devotionals talking about how we can’t prove the existence of God. But that doesn’t mean that the effect of knowing God can’t be seen in us by others. The effect of living a life that demonstrates the kind of love Jesus is talking about can be extremely powerful. As Christians or more specifically, disciples, we can choose not to fight in situations where the vast majority would fight. When we are insulted and wronged we can choose to absorb it and silently forgive. When confronted with aggression we can choose to concede the argument and accept the blame. If someone is in need, whoever they may be, we can choose to help as much as we can, even if it exceeds normal social expectations. We can choose to follow our conscience and have the courage of our convictions to demonstrate love when society might counsel against it or even disapprove. We don’t need permission from the media or our employers or the government to act lovingly. We have been commanded by the highest authority to love each other, just as Jesus loved us.
John 13:33-38 NLT
“Dear children, I will be with you only a little time longer. And as I told the Jewish leaders, you will search for me, but you can’t come where I am going. So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
Simon Peter asked, “Lord, where are you going?”
And Jesus replied, “You can’t go with me now but you will follow me later.”
“But why can’t I come now, Lord?” he asked. “I am ready to die for you.”
Jesus answered, “Die for me? I tell you the truth, Peter—before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.
Peter thought he was able to follow Jesus absolutely anywhere and went as far as to say that he would even die for Jesus if necessary. But when it came to it, Jesus was right, Peter denied Jesus three times before dawn. It is interesting that immediately after Jesus issues this fabulous new commandment, Peter, Jesus’s Rock, reveals how little he understands the magnitude of what Jesus is about to achieve. Therefore, my goal today is to remember my own small understanding and not imagine I can be more than I am. I just need to focus on being a faithful disciple and try my best to love those I find around me.
2 Samuel 4:1-6:23, John 13:31-14:14, Psalms 119:17-32, Proverbs 15:31-32