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“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” ~John 15:12
Jesus doesn’t say I’ll love you if you treat me right or I’ll love you if you straighten up. Jesus’ love isn’t conditioned by right behavior or a good performance. It’s not based on anybody’s I.Q. or money or skin color or clothes or bloodline or reputation. Jesus’ love says I’ll die for you while you’re my enemy. I’ll serve you while you’re still a sinner. I’ll give my life for you while you only look after yourself.
I’ll do this, Jesus says, because I love you so much. But that’s not where this love of Christ ends.
This love that starts with the Creator of Heaven and Earth flows to his Son, the Holy One of Israel. Jesus then takes that love and showers it on us. And he tells us to receive his divine love in order to show it to one another. This heavenly love is completed, it’s fulfilled, only when we give it to others. God’s love was never, ever intended to be finished in merely saving you.
“Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us.” ~1 John 4:16-17
We are the last link in this cosmic chain. This love of God in Christ finishes its course through his people. This is why we sacrifice for one another. We serve each other and consider the needs of others more important than our own. This is the reason we die to ourselves and for one another every day.
God’s love is not finished, it’s not accomplished all, until we take seriously this singular command of our Lord: Love each other. This love of Christ that we receive and selflessly pass on proves that we are children of God. It brings eternal glory to our Father. And it changes the world.