Loving and Honoring One Another

“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.” Jesus (John 15:12)

Jesus command for us to love others as He loves us does not negate the 2 greatest commands…it reinforces them…and can’t be done without first obeying them!

We continue with another “one another” and surprise, surprise and just as promised last week… it is “love one another” and we find it as Jesus continues with His teaching, encouraging and challenging His disciples in the Upper Room. This is all happening on the night He is betrayed by Judas, denied by Peter and abandoned by all of His disciples.

His teaching that followed His example, even knowing they would all walk away during His greatest hardship is found in John 15:12-17 where He reiterates two more times a “new” commandment to “love one another as I have loved you.”

This must be pretty important for Him to continue to drive home the point that they are to love each other the way that He loved them…and we are to do the same.

Remember His first love was not for us (I know we seldom hear messages about this in our “me first” culture) but His first love was for His Father and He wanted (wants) us to love the way that He did (does). The only way we can do this is to first love Our Heavenly Father and Christ by The Holy Spirit in us and then let that love overflow in our love for one another!

What is your source of love for others? Is it rooted in your feelings, attraction, experiences, etc.? Or is it rooted in the unfailing, self-giving, sacrificial Love from God that prefers Him above all else (agape) as it flows through us to others?

As I mentioned in a previous devotional, 11 of the 59 “one anothers” in Scripture are specifically “love on another” and we shared five of those in the last few days. Must be pretty important if The Holy Spirit repeated it so often…and we know that it is because it is how the world sees the Love of God by how we love Him and others in His Love.

Our next “one another” is a more specific way that we are to love one another and it is found in Romans 12:10 (entire chapter is great for practical living and loving in Christ). Here Paul goes a little deeper and tells us to “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love…” This is both a personal and collective command as the Greek words here for love is “philostorgos” which means tender affection toward others and “philadelphia” (sound familiar) which literally means brotherly love and affection.

He also tells us in this verse that the way we do this is to “honor one another above self.” We can only do this in humility by knowing who we are in Christ so we can choose to lift others above ourselves…this is being devoted to one another in caring and affectionate love.

This is how we are to love others by being devoted to caring for them with affection individually whenever needed, and remember that we can’t do this without knowing God’s love, loving Him first and then loving who we are so we can die to self to affectionately love and care for others!

I pray that you know this love both in how to love God and others and in receiving this kind of love from others…in your marriage, family, church family and friends…all others.

How awesome is it that God has given us very plainly in His Word how we are to love…Him, self and then be able to die to self, just as Christ did, in our love for others.

The “one another” that we have for today is a continuation in Romans 12:10 telling us to “Honor one another above yourselves.” If I don’t know who I am in Christ, confident and content, growing in who He has recreated me to be in Him, then I will struggle to lift and place others above myself.

We must understand that as long as we’re in our flesh we will not be able to truly accomplish any of these “one anothers” even though we can be very active in making it look like we are. This is the posture of many in our churches today who are active in serving in the flesh with very little time in God’s Word, prayer and listening to Him in order to know His Love, know how to love Him with all we are and then love who He is revealing to us that we are in Christ.

We need to ask the Lord to help us to honor and esteem others above our self in every relationship and opportunity as He prunes, purges, prepares and cleanses us of self so that it is Christ coming through us for others to see and know. Let us love in Truth and not hypocritically as we make it an overflow of His Love in and through us to others (Romans 12:9).

Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – Very simply put, loving, honoring or esteeming someone above yourself is saying or doing something with or for them that encourages or lifts them up, even and especially, at a cost to your own ego or success. Let’s love and honor others above ourselves to show them the Love of Jesus!

Love and Lordship…Action Item(s)

  1. Spend time with Him in His Word and prayer daily – read and study the Scriptures in this post as a way to start
  2. Ask The Holy Spirit to teach you
  3. Find someone close to you each day this week and do something to honor the above yourself
  4. Find someone that you struggle to get along with and make an effort to do something practical to show them honor and love