You are my friends if you do what I command. John 15:13-14
Jesus loves me. Jesus loves you. That is a promise we can claim as Christian believers, but I also want to be His friend. I desire to know Him as friend so my task is to do what He commands. The Bible has a lot of commands, rules, and thou shall not’s. How do I know which ones to follow? All of them? Oh, my goodness!
Jesus understands our confusion and makes it quite simple. He tells us there are two commands we must follow. The first is to “love the Lord your God with all your passion, prayer, and intelligence. This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it. Love others as well as you love yourself. These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s law and the Prophets hangs from them” (Matthew 22:37-40 MSG).
Well, I love God—feel his daily Presence—and trust Him. But that second one! Love others! Love my family, pretty easy unless they stray from my wishes and “do their own thing.” Love my friends, usually, unless they do something of which I do not approve, or heaven help them, if they are truth-tellers who wound my ego. And my neighbors too, Lord, you want me to love even the nosey, annoying ones?
Gary Smalley, in his book, Love is a Decision, informs us that love is not a feeling, but a choice we make each day. We choose to love for better or worse, in sickness and in health. We choose to love the unlovely. The arrogant. The homeless. The person of another faith, nationality, or persuasion. If you are not loving to another, are you ready to ask “why”? Remember, loving others is the second most important commandment. Are you ready to “choose” to love? Linda