John 13:34-35: “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.”
This verse is my favorite verse in the Bible. It’s so powerful because these are some of the last words Jesus said to His disciples before He was crucified. It also confirms to the world that we are called, as Andy Stanley would say, to be New Covenant believers. Often we are guilty of viewing our faith as a list of do’s and don’ts, just like the Pharisees did. We try to do better. We try to follow the rules. We try to be better sinners. That’s so Old Covenant.
Jesus came not only to save us from our sins but also that we could be transformed through His Holy Spirit residing in our being. The natural result of that is the fruits of the spirit (love, joy, peace, kindness, self-control, gentleness) being exhibited in our lives. Not because we are trying to be better sinners, but because we can’t help it when we are transformed.
So how do transformed, new covenant believers proceed in this uncertain world. We ask “What does God’s love for me, require of me in this situation”? Or to keep it even shorter “What does love require of me”?
What does love require of me when
….. I’m talking to someone who has different political views than me?
….. I’m on social media interacting with folks who see things different
….. I see that classmate sitting alone in the cafeteria?
….. that patient who is never happy shows up on the schedule?
….. that homeless man walks up asking for money?
….. my friend or family member disappoints me?
….. my spouse is not the same person I married?
….. I feel church leadership has made the wrong decision regarding an
….. I’m asked to volunteer my precious time?