Memory Verse: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, by the love you show to one another.” John 13:34-35
I had memorized John 13:35 within a couple of months of joining my first church. The worship leader started each service by having us shake hands with visitors and other members. We knew when it was time because he had us all recite this verse together before the music started. I am grateful for this as it helped me memorize a very important verse in the Bible and also showed the importance of welcoming visiting guests. The concept behind the verse goes so much further than extending a welcoming hand during greet-time. The words spoken by our Savior are ones not to be taken lightly. We are to heed them within the church walls as well as outside the doors. If a visitor was to follow your footsteps within the church today, would they see a true disciple? Would they feel God’s love and acceptance through your actions? What if they followed you home?
Pray and ask God to keep you aware of your actions. Keep in mind that others are watching, looking for the love of a Savior through an earthly disciple.
Review John 13:34 and try to recite it from memory.
We know that we are to love the Lord with all of our hearts and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Now we hear Jesus tell us to love others the way that He loved us. To love others isn’t a new commandment as seen in Leviticus 19:18, but to love others as much as Christ loves us is revolutionary. Now we are to love others based on Jesus' sacrificial love for us. Such love will not only bring unbelievers to Christ, it will also keep believers strong and united in a world hostile to God. Jesus was a living example of God's love, as we are to be living examples of Jesus' love. Pray and ask God what this looks like in your life. Be open to changes God may desire for your life.
Read John 13:35 and try to recite it from memory.
Love is more than warm feelings; it is an attitude that reveals itself in action. How can we love others as Jesus loves us? By helping when it's not convenient, by giving when it hurts, by devoting energy to others welfare rather than our own, by absorbing hurts from others without complaining or fighting back. This kind of loving is hard to do. That is why people notice when you do it and know you are empowered by a supernatural source. The Bible has another beautiful description of love in I Corinthians 13. Read it today and ask God to show you ways to extend His love to others.
Read I Corinthians 13. We can have gifts and talents to offer. We can have money to give and time to spend. But if our actions aren’t backed by love they are nothing but the noise of “a clanging cymbal.”
Re-read verses 4-7. List 8 things that love isn’t or does not do. Then list 7 things that love is or does. Take a moment to consider which category you fall into. Look for ways to show love to others. Make a commitment to reach out to a person that you find it hard to love. Ask God to help you. He will grow you in your faith and give you the heart to care about others that you may never be able to care about without His help.
Commit to read I Corinthians chapter 12, 13, and 14. In Chapter 12, Paul gave evidence of the Corinthians lack of love in the utilization of spiritual gifts; chapter 13 defines real love; and chapter 14 shows how love works. Love is more important than all the spiritual gifts exercised in the church body. Great faith, acts of dedication or sacrifice, and miracle-working power produce very little without love. Love makes our actions and gifts useful. Although people have different gifts, love is available to everyone. Love is the greatest of all human qualities, and it is an attribute of God himself. Faith is the foundation and content of God's message; hope is the attitude and focus; love is the action. When faith and hope are in line, you are free to love completely because you understand how God loves.