Love Like Jesus
This is Part 2 of a two part series titled Love Endures. In Part 1 we talked about how Jesus loved to the very end. We looked at John 13 and saw how even his last days he spent it serving his disciples. In addition, he willingly did so knowing one of them would betray him (John 13:21), and another would deny him (John 13:38). Yet he served, he sacrificed, and he loved them – and he does the same for you and me.
Now Jesus is asking us to love like he loved. So let’s go deeper into what this looks like for us.
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.John 13:34
How exactly did he love? With Enduring love:
Jesus’ love was Selfless:
It wasn’t about doing his will but Gods (John 6:38). Ultimately, it was about glorifying God (John 17:4). As you read the gospel narratives we hear multiple accounts of his life & ministry selflessly spent caring for others for their physical, emotional, spiritual healing and well being.
Jesus loved by Serving
Even though he was the teacher or master, he humbled himself and served – even in the end washing his disciples feet. (John 13: 4-5). Unlike other religious leaders in his time – many would choose to lord their authority over others – yet Jesus chose humility. “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45)
Jesus’ love was Sacrificial
His death was the ultimate sacrifice when he willingly gave his life on that cross. Yet even while he was on earth, Jesus loved sacrificially, often giving his time and self to meet the needs of others.
The Question now is, does our love endure?
As we think of the way Jesus love we must compare and check the way we love to His, and ask these three questions:
1. Do we love selflessly?
Are we able to say with all our hearts “Not my will God, but yours be done”? Is our goal, with everything we do or say – to bring glory to God? Are we willing to put others’ needs before our own? Are we willing to care for others whether it be a physical, emotional, or spiritual need?
2. Do we serve?
Can we humble ourselves and serve others? Even if it means washing others’ feet? For some of us that could mean a literal washing of feet – or a symbolic washing of feet. It could mean serving in a way that others might label as “below them.” It could also mean serving those not easy to serve. Maybe it’s people who reject or betray you, or constantly trouble you – can you keep on serving anyway?
3. Do we love sacrificially?
There are ways to love God wholeheartedly and sacrificially. Sacrifice can be displayed in the way we live our life, while in others it may be the way they died for the name of Christ. For some, the call to be a Living Sacrifice (Romans 12:1) for God seems nearly impossible. While there are other people who willingly face and endure persecution – daily – for the sake of the cross. Where do you stand?
Other sacrifices can be your time or yourself – as Jesus did while he was on earth. There may be moments where you have to choose between ministering to someone else or doing something for yourself. You may have to take time out of your already busy, hectic day – to stop and talk to a friend or stranger in need.
Examples of how love endures in my life.
Love endures – in parenting
I think being a mom has taught me a little more about enduring love. We learn to love with all the ups and downs. Even from the very first week of my daughter’s life – with all the newness of everything, on top of being sleep deprived and feeling so unsure about what to do – I really think it was this enduring love that helped me get through those sleepless nights. I loved my daughter, and will do anything for her. This love enables me to give of myself as much as I can, again and again. As they grow, I’m sure there will be many more examples from parenting where this will be tested or exemplified throughout each of my children’s life.
Love endures – in friendship
I remember coming home from a very busy day at work one night and just looking forward to rest. It was a time when I was working with students considered high risk or emotionally disturbed. It had been a very eventful day full of tantrums and physical aggression from the kids – so when I got home I was just ready to relax in my own room, by myself. But not too long later, I heard one of my roommates come home. Their room was in the far end of the house – but I can clearly hear they were upset and angry about something. Instead of being concerned I was actually bothered by it, as it was disturbing my rest.
I left my room, irritated and with every intention of knocking on their door and asking them to keep it down. So I knocked – and they answered with a short “yeah” and suddenly God was reminding me to show love. Instead of telling my roommate to keep it down – I asked what was wrong, and how they were doing. My roommate opened the door and we had a chance to talk, share some scripture verses, and pray. I could’ve easily made excuses why I needed to think about myself that night – but God was asking me to show enduring love. Every time I’ve listened to God leading me to extend this kind of love – even if it meant sacrificing something – I’ve never regretted it.
Love endures – in dark times
Another example of this kind of love was when it was shown to me. As I’ve mentioned before I struggle with depression and anxiety. Yet it was only when things had escalated so far – that I was finally able to reach out for help. At that time I was not necessarily pleasant to be around. I found myself so lost, broken, hurting (physically and emotionally) that I did not know how to get out of that dark pit I found myself in. Yet God had sent some friends who endured with me through that time. Friends who answered my calls – or called to check on me. Who met with me, even late nights to keep me from hurting myself. Friends who just showed me an overwhelming kind of love with no judgement or shame. The only kind of love that helped me find hope and restoration – for it was a beautiful picture of God’s love to us.
Do you have an experience like that? Where you’ve had to show enduring love to someone, or it was shown to you?
As we think about that many things Love is – let’s not forget that
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.1 Corinthians 13:7