Love. This is it. The beginning and the end. The foundation and the building. The goal and the plan. It’s love. All Jesus asked his followers to do was love God with everything they have, and love others. So simple. So hard! Reflect on these passages over the week and see how serious God is about the call to love others:
- A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another (Jn 13:34–35).
- Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves…Live in harmony with one another (Ro 12:10, 16).
- Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law (Ro 13:8).
- Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters (Heb 13:1).
- We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing (2 Th 1:3).
- Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling (1 Pe 4:8-9).
- Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble (1 Pe 3:8).
- For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another (1 Jn 3:11).
- And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us (1 Jn 3:23).
- Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God (1 Jn 4:7).
- You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love (Ga 5:13).
- Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love… (Eph 4:2, 32).
- And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing (Heb 10:24–25).
Much of what passes for love in our culture seems to be an insipid and opaque version of the full, robust, concrete and sacrificial love we see in Jesus. Jesus is the ultimate and full expression of God’s love. Imagine a community of people who lived out of the unconditional and gracious love of God, loving others – even their enemies – and growing in love more and more. God has such a community. It’s called the church!
Love and blessings,