May 26th 2010

A New Commandment

“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, if you have love for one another.”

John 13:34-35 (NKJV) 

What does Jesus mean—because isn’t this what was intended by the Old Testament commandments (Exodus 20:12-17)? But then, if it was, Jesus wouldn’t have needed to give us a new commandment, would He? So I ask again, what does He mean?

We are Christians 24/7, so we can start by practising in our own homes with the people who live with us. Do we try to keep the peace, showing love? Or do we start the argument and keep it going because we are always right? Or, after all since I’m the man in the house, my word is law? Do we show love to our children who have had a hard time in school, and are sometimes bullied just because they are trying to live by Mum and Dad’s Christian beliefs? It’s not their fault they’re our children—but so often we expect them to respond like perfect Christians, when we’re not perfect ourselves. 

Isn’t part of what Jesus meant, making life easier for others? Staying calm, when others lose their cool. Giving words of encouragement, smiling more—isn’t that obviously included by what God means by loving one another?

At work, what about a smile, a word of encouragement, a helpful answer, a productive days work thinking about others and not about ourselves?

Do we pray for people? We don’t really need to know the details about other people’s problems. God knows, but—and this is part of His new commandment surely—He wants to know we care about others. I challenge you to find an Old Testament commandment which does that! What about the empty chairs in Church? Do we pray that more people may come to know Gods ways so that they can be happy and have the same loving relationship with God that we have? After all, He said, ‘as I have loved you’. 

Prayer

Our Great Father in Heaven, thank you for your Word which shows us how you want us to live. Help us to show others your ways through how we behave. Help us to remember we are Christians 24/7, and that you reveal yourself in us by the way we live. In Jesus’ name we pray.

 Amen 

Study by Joy Barlow 

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