Love One Another

Good morning. It is pre-Friday, March 26, 2015. 11 days until Opening Day!!!!!!!

Today’s word of the day is more of a phrase than a word. It is good-enough Morgan It is a noun, meaning, “An issue or talking point used to influence voters temporarily, typically in the period preceding an election.” Well. Isn’t that interesting? Someone at the OED must be paying attention to the fact that people are starting to throw in for the 2016 Presidential race.

Today is Make Up Your Own Holiday Day! Just go ahead and celebrate whatever you feel like celebrating today! You want to celebrate 2:00? Go ahead! Right now, I believe I’ll celebrate coffee! *slurp* Ahhhh . . .

I don’t have a lot to write about today. Things are going pretty well around here. There hasn’t been much mama-drama for Christi, lately. There is some good news, though, that I just remembered. I got a message from my Dad, yesterday, that my mother went to her local doctor for her follow-up from the surgery. He said, “She is doing well and can resume all normal activities.” That is wonderful news!

Christi has Huddle this evening, and they will be meeting a house that is further away, as the normal host’s husband is the one who has recently undergone gall bladder surgery, and is still not recovering well. Not sure what’s going on there. So it looks like she will be going straight from work, which leaves Stephanie and me on our own, this evening. I’m guessing I already know what’s for dinner. 🙂

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle!
Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah.

Psalm 24:7-10

(From Knowing Jesus)

Today’s reading is “Jesus, Giver of a New Command.”

When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
John 13:31-35
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.”

John 15:11-17

The fact that Jesus repeated the command to “love one another” so many times compels us to recognize that there is a critical need for us to obey this command. Jesus had loved these men for three years. It was now time for them to begin to love one another in the same way. They were still, at this point, more concerned about who was going to be the greatest. (See Luke 22:24.)

Jesus, though, “saw love as the critical element in the future relationships of the disciples and all believers to come.” Without love, this mission would have failed. “Without love, they could not achieve the unity that would speak to the world about Jesus.”

Look at the early Christians. They loved each other, both emotionally and practically, as they shared feasts together and possessions, as well. They prayed together and worshiped together. “they injected into the callousness of Greece and Rome the tenderness and sacrifice that immediately stamped them as different people.”

The word love, itself, overwhelms us in Scripture. There are so many dimensions of it: “God’s love, Christ’s love, our love for God and his Son, our love for one another, and our love for our neighbors and our enemies.” This love that Christ commands us to is more than just friendship, it transcends friendship. What was the condition? “Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” In order to achieve this, we must steep our minds and hearts in Scripture. “We must be fueled by a high-calorie diet of stores about Jesus.” We must preach the Gospel to ourselves on a daily basis.

While it is true that Jesus’s sacrifice for us ultimately satisfies, if we only love each other “reluctantly and with limits, the utter totality of Christ’s love rebukes us immediately.” If we love as he loves, there will be no limits on who or how we love.

This is not mere human affection; “he called for a radically new kind of love by which his followers respect, trust, sacrifice for, and empower one another.” It would become a test by which our faith is validated. We are called by the rest of the New Testament to “walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:2)

Father, I confess a lack of love. I confess that I have not loved my brothers and sisters without limits. I claim to love them, yet I speak ill of them, at times. My Lord, this ought not be! I pray for love. I pray that you give me a spirit of love for my brothers and sisters; love without limits, love without conditions. May I come as close to agape as is humanly possible! Teach me to love; show me how. May your Church succeed in demonstrating this unique kind of love to all of her members.

I pray for this day, that we would have safe and smooth passage to work. I pray for our work day, that it will go smoothly, without stress. I pray for Stephanie today, that you would show your great love to her and give her hope and peace in her life. I give you thanks that my mother’s follow-up went well, and that she is free to resume normal activities. May you bless my parents richly today. Also, I pray that you would grant Rachel and Justin peace and whatever else they need for this day. Give us this day our daily bread.

Your grace is sufficient.

As we go out to our day, may we all remember to love one another just as Christ loved us.

Grace and peace, friends.

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