Love One Another

John 13:34-35 34I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another.  35By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves].
 
If we are known as disciples of Christ by the love we show one another, do people know that you are a Christian? Do your actions reflect the love that we are supposed to have as believers? I have been studying quite a bit lately about walking in love. 1 Corinthians 13:13 tells us 13And so faith, hope, love abide [faith–conviction and belief respecting man’s relation to God and divine things; hope–joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation; love–true affection for God and man, growing out of God’s love for and in us], these three; but the greatest of these is love. If the greatest of all attributes is love, it seems to me that we should understand what it means to show love, and not only understand it but practice it on a regular basis. It also says in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 1IF I [can] speak in the tongues of men and [even] of angels, but have not love (that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such as is inspired by God’s love for and in us), I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.   2And if I have prophetic powers (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), and understand all the secret truths and mysteries and possess all knowledge, and if I have [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love (God’s love in me) I am nothing (a useless nobody).   3Even if I dole out all that I have [to the poor in providing] food, and if I surrender my body to be burned or in order that I may glory, but have not love (God’s love in me), I gain nothing.
Let me summarize, no matter how spiritual we may be, no matter what kind of things we do in ministry, no matter what we do to advance the kingdom of God, if we are not operating in the love of God it all means nothing!

 
Walking in love is one of the most basic concepts in Christianity, but also one of the most difficult to actually carry out. Why? Because we have a human nature that only understands conditional love. If you are nice to me, I will be nice to you. If you do things for me, I will in turn feel more love toward you. If you respect me, I will respect you. Don’t think you’re like that? I didn’t either until I was faced with a situation in my life where I realized that I allowed the actions and behavior of someone else to affect the way that I acted toward them. I’ve always considered myself to be a very forgiving person. If you did me wrong, I would give you another chance, and another, and another. However what I came to realize was that although I wasn’t outwardly being rude or mean or retaliating toward the individual who had hurt me, I also wasn’t going out of my way to show them love. Inwardly I had truthfully changed how I felt about them. Once I gained this realization, I had to repent and determine that regardless of how they acted toward me, I still had to love them. Why? Because Jesus always loves me no matter what. When I wasn’t loving Him, He still loved me enough to die for me. He asks me to show that same kind of love to everyone around me regardless of their actions, and I love Him enough to change my attitude and my heart if He wants me to.
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