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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A New Command

Today’s Bible Gateway Verse
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.
—John 13:34-35 (NIV)

Love one another. It is not a suggestion. It is a command, and it is new because the One who has just spoken it is about to reveal its depth by giving His life. Not ever in the history of time has someone loved to this degree. Not ever before has a person, who has no sin, taken on the sin of the world out of the purest of love and given His life unconditionally. So this kind of love has never before been demonstrated. It is a new command because Jesus has prepared himself to offer it. Just before speaking this new command he has washed the disciples’ feet and revealed the one who will betray him and the one who will deny Him. He has made himself less, and then has revealed the human greed and deception living in human hearts. He knows they don’t get it. Gethsemane waits where the disciples will sleep, and Calvary waits for Him alone. And there mercy and grace with flow from the Savior who has just said, “Love as I have loved you.”

As He has loved us, we are also to love so everyone will know that we are His disciples—that we belong to Him. But what has happened to the mercy and grace that flowed at Calvary? Has it really changed us?  We say we love. We say the words. Yet so often we do as the world and bicker and argue among ourselves and find fault and hold grudges and judge. The new command that He confirmed—by giving up any “rights” and offering His life—has not transformed and renewed. We have not been renewed by the Holy Spirit in the spirit of our mind. We have not allowed the love of Calvary to transform us to its greatest depth and in its greatest purpose. We have not allowed it to set us free from self. And if we think “that’s not me”, remember that wasn’t Peter either.

This is a daily offering—laying down of self, and allowing Jesus to transform and renew. Self was crucified on Calvary. A new command was given—that we are to love as he has loved us. Allow the love that put you first on Calvary, to renew and fill your heart with His love and not your own. Human love is fickle, but His loves beyond measure—beyond fault—beyond “rights”.  It is the purest mercy and the unstoppable grace that conquers self. Cry out in surrender, just as Peter, “Not just my feet, Lord, but wash all of me.” The love of Calvary can’t be measured, but it can change our hearts and be lived.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher

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