Do you know you can love as Jesus loves?
34 “I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other. 35 This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other.” (John 13, CEB)
Yes, Jesus really believes you can love this way.
Sorry, it’s football season. Allow me to pull an example from here. In case you don’t know, Jalen Hurts is the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. He is arguably one of the best quarterbacks in the league.
What would happen if he woke up on gameday, looked in the mirror and focused on all of his mistakes? What if all of the interceptions and fumbles came to mind? What if he recalled all of the times when he should have made a pass to an open wide receiver but just didn’t see them?
How long do you think it would take for Hurts to begin to doubt his playing ability? He might walk away wondering how he ever got on a professional football team.
How well do you think he would play in a game with all of that negative thinking? I can’t imagine him playing well at all.
As Christians, we do this too. We find it so much easier to think of all of the reasons why we cannot love as Jesus loves. We think of our mistakes, or we think of sins committed against us. We see ourselves as much less than Jesus sees us.
Through the work of Jesus Christ you are made new to love as Jesus loves! This is who you are.
God caused the one who didn’t know sin to be sin for our sake so that through him we could become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21, CEB)
This really comes down to choosing who you will believe, you or Jesus? Paul gives us a picture of what this looks like in his letter to the Christians in Ephesus.
17 So I’m telling you this, and I insist on it in the Lord: you shouldn’t live your life like the Gentiles anymore. They base their lives on pointless thinking, 18 and they are in the dark in their reasoning. They are disconnected from God’s life because of their ignorance and their closed hearts. 19 They are people who lack all sense of right and wrong, and who have turned themselves over to doing whatever feels good and to practicing every sort of corruption along with greed.
20 But you didn’t learn that sort of thing from Christ. 21 Since you really listened to him and you were taught how the truth is in Jesus, 22 change the former way of life that was part of the person you once were, corrupted by deceitful desires. 23 Instead, renew the thinking in your mind by the Spirit 24 and clothe yourself with the new person created according to God’s image in justice and true holiness. (Ephesians 4, CEB)
My summary of Paul here would be this. Stop being who you aren’t! Jesus paid the price on the cross for you to be made new. Believe in His work in your life. Know that you are changed! Look in the mirror and see the “righteousness of God,” giving thanks for His work.
With this fresh in your mind, how will you now go out into the world?
PS - We have a book that talks much more about how we are able to love as Jesus loves, called Forget Heaven Live God’s Love Now. Also, please know I would love the opportunity to come and speak at your church or organization. Feel free to reach out to us through our website.