The Truth of Love

Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he showed them the full extent of his love.  (John 13:1, NLT)

Love and Lordship in Focus…His Love for us in saving and redeeming us should compel us to respond according to His Word that states that if we love Him we will keep (obey) His commands.  His Love for us as Savior requires the response of our love for Him as Lord.

The Truth in Love

1 John 4:19; Mark 12:29-31; Matthew 22:37-39

These should guide us according to God’s Word as to how we are to love and disciple others to love as well…(linked texts)

1) 1 John 4:7-21…God is Love and Love is from God…we can only love because He first loved us (v. 19); (John 3:16; 1 John 3:16)

2) Mark 12:29-31…A clear priority and order for love of Him and others

Build on these in future weeks as we move into loving and serving others building on Mark 12:31…loving others as self…

3) John 13:1-17…Love lived out in humility, service, authority and discipleship

4) Romans 8:37-39…God’s unfailing and inseparable love for us

5) 1 Corinthians 13…Literally, known as the Love Chapter describes what Godly love looks like to us and through us (emphasis vv. 4-8a)

Build on these in future weeks as we move into loving and serving others building on Mark 12:31…loving others as self…in particular marriage and family

6) Ephesians 5:21-33…Godly Love expressed in relationships and in particular in the Marriage Covenant and what it represents – Christ and His Bride, The Church.

7) Mark 1:40-42; 10:17-22…the full-orbed Love of God.

We’ve laid out the evidence of God’s Covenant Order and His Love for us and how we are to live that out with Him and others. First and foremost, we can only love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19; John 3:16; 1 John 3:16) and then there is an order in which we are to love…Worship and Love God, love the self we are recreated to be in Christ so we can love others (Mark 12:29-31).

This leads us to the third great text on Love in Scripture…

3) John 13:1-17…Love is lived out in humility, service, authority and discipleship…

The night Jesus was betrayed He instituted what has come to be known as The Last Supper. Here is a powerful synopsis of his interaction with His disciples that we should apply in our lives, relationships and discipleship, just as He shared and modeled them…

1) LOVE – He “loved them to the end” (v. 1).  According to one translation, “He showed them the full extent of His Love”…God is Love manifested in Christ so we really need to pay attention to what comes next

2) HUMILITY – He knew who He was…the essence of true humility and very important to understand as He expresses His love (v. 3)

3) SERVANT’S HEART – He bowed down, literally placing the disciples above Himself, and washed their feet…He served them (vv. 4-5). This didn’t change for one single moment who He was (v. 3)!

4) AUTHORITY – After interacting with Peter and teaching Him (and us) a valuable lesson), He stands up and asks if they realize what He’s done for them and clearly states that their belief in Him as the Authority is right (vv. 12-13)

5) DISCIPLESHIP – He tells them to follow His example as His disciples and in doing so they will be blessed (vv. 14-17).

There it is…the love of Jesus fully expressed in all He taught and lived for them and for us. The very next night He would be hung on the Cross to give the final ultimate example of True Love in Humility, Serving all of mankind with His sacrificial death and it did not change for one single moment Who He Was and Is – The Ultimate Authority, The King of kings and Lord of lords! That’s an example that we should follow as His disciples.

Unfortunately we separate these elements of His complete Love but in His Kingdom they never are separated. May we love as He has loved us!

God so loved us that He first loved us in willingly and sacrificially giving His own life through His Son; He has given us clear commands and priorities in how we are to grow in His love in loving Him and others; He has modeled it for us in Christ’s humble service in washing feet and laying down His life knowing that He was the Author of all things and had all power…How can we ever doubt that He would not love us always?

So what does that look like as we love others?  It brings us to the 4th great text on Love found in the New Testament…

4) Romans 8:37-39…God’s unfailing and inseparable love for us

Remember that there is nothing that can separate us from God’s love for us. While He gives us the freedom of choice to reject and walk away from His Love, He continues to love us, fully and perfectly, no matter what may come…not “death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing” can keep Him from loving us. We can reject it but it’s always there.  Because of His Love, by grace through faith, we are all-conquering victors as Christ lives in us (Romans 8:28, 37) no matter what we face!

The question is, can you truly say that you have that victory because you are walking with Him? How will you respond to His Love? You can choose to walk away if you desire…but why would you ever do that?

As we’ve focused on God’s Love as the Source, guidance and strength for how we are to love Him and others…because He first loved us…we’ve looked at How Jesus modeled it for us.  Now let’s see how it is to be manifested in our lives…in every relationship and in particular in our marriages, families and churches. Here’s the 5th great text on Love…

5) 1 Corinthians 13…Known as the Love Chapter describes what Godly love looks like to us and through us (emphasis vv. 4-8a)

Test yourself daily and see how you’re doing when it come to real Love…Love is: patient at all times; kind at all times; never jealous; never boastful or proud; always gracious; never self-seeking; not easily angered; never keeps score; always seeks out and rejoices with and in the Truth; always reliable; always believes, always hopes for the best and endures no matter what; LOVE NEVER FAILS!

None of us can know this kind of Love apart from Christ.  As stated last week, because of sin, no matter how much we may show compassion for our fellow man, we fall short when it comes to real Love…God’s Love…but it doesn’t change His standard. He gives us the strength to Love as He loves us.

Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – What kind of “love” is the world seeing in those of us who call Christ our Lord? How are these traits evident in your life, in your relationships, especially your marriage and with your spouse, family and children, and in The Body of Christ?  How are these qualities showing up in trying times and even with enemies or those who come against us? 

That’s the Love of God and it will always be available and see us through if we choose to know and walk in His Love in Christ!  

Love and Lordship…Action Item(s)

  1. Read the Scriptures in this article and ask The Holy Spirit to teach you how to love according to His commands and priorities.
  2. How can you practice Love in humble service and in Godly Authority as Christ’s disciple?
  3. Ask The Lord to show you what His unfailing Love for you is like right here and right now…It is always available as the only way you cannot know and experience it is to reject it. 
  4. What characteristics of Love from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a do you need to work on and mature in?
  5. Start with your spouse and family (if applicable) or others closest to you, if not married and with a family, to practice this kind of Love.

Love and Lordship Prayer Focus…Heavenly Father, help me to love like You do.  Let me love in humility with a servant’s heart, practicing Your kind of authority in love as Christ’s disciple. In His Name. Amen.