17th February 2019

A More Excellent Way 

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so must you love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13:34-35 (NIVUK) 

Before working for GCI, I worked as a middle-school maths teacher. To earn my teaching credentials, I spent over 1,000 hours, first observing and then practising instruction in a variety of schools.

I quickly saw a common thread in the most effective teachers’ classrooms. The common denominator in these rooms was love. It didn’t matter what the subject was, teacher’s age, or location of the school, in the classrooms where the teacher’s care for the students was palpable, students were more engaged and successful in mastering the content. Without love, the teacher’s efforts were that of a clanging cymbal. Perhaps this is why in 1 Corinthians 13, Paul starts the love chapter with, “And yet I will show you the most excellent way,” because without love we can accomplish nothing.

Paul goes on to illustrate the kind of love God extends to us: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).

When received, this kind of affection cannot be bottled up. The love of God transforms us, and flows through us to those around us. In these verses Paul is describing what it truly means to be a Christian. In fact, what Paul is doing here is helping us get a better understanding of Jesus’ new command. On the night he was betrayed he shared with his disciples this more excellent way of love, quoted above in the header scripture.

When God calls us to himself, he is calling us into a relationship where we can experience his unconditional love. And here’s the good news: he doesn’t just offer this to some, he offers a relationship of love to all. He will never force us to accept the offer; he gives us the freedom to live outside of that relationship. But when we do accept, we can know that the one who loves us is patient and kind, and does not hold our wrongs against us. May you receive the love God is extending to you today. His love that never fails. 

Loving Father, you are the perfection of love, a love that we can only grasp in part. Help us, as we walk with you daily, to learn more about your love for us, unfailing and eternal. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by Michelle Fleming


About the Author:
Michelle Fleming in an Elder in Grace Communion International and works in the International Home Office in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA as Media Director.

Local Congregation:
You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.church under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Email: admin@daybyday.org.uk


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