Love Each Other

 

 

 “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)

 

Happy New Year 2019!

 

            The Bible says “God is love” (1Jn.4:16).  And this is what John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  So we who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ by God’s grace, this is what the Bible says: “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 Jn. 4:11).  But the reality seems very different.  Actually I believe what Jesus said in Matthew 24:12 is fulfilling now: “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.”  So what must we do?  This is what Jesus is saying to us in John 15:12: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”  Jesus is commanding us to love each other as he has loved us.  And in order to obey his command, first we must understand how much Jesus loves us.  This is what John 15:13 says: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”  Jesus, who is without sin, laid donw his life for us.  He bore our sins and die on the cross to forgive us.  When we begin to understand(grasp) how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, we will be able to love each other with His love(Eph. 3:19).

 

Especially in this New Year 2019, we want to focus on these 3 things in terms of loving each other as Jesus commanded us to do:

 

First, we want to focus on “Gratitude”.

 

As we are grateful to Jesus for what He did on the cross for us, let us be grateful to each other for the love we have shown to each other.  Let us have gratitude in our hearts for each other.  I hope that all of us can say to each other more frequently “Thank you” for God’s love.  Also, I hope that all of us can be able to express our gratitude towards each other as our hearts are overflowing with thankfulness (Col. 2:7).

 

Second, what we want to focus on “Forgiveness”.

 

                When Jesus was hung on the cross this is what he prayed to Father God: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Lk. 23:34).  When Stephen was stoned to death (by the Jews) this was what he cried to God as he fell on his knees, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” (Acts 7:60).  We should forgive others as Jesus and Stephen forgave.  The Bible says “… forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you (Col. 3:13).  And when we forgive others when they sin against us, the Bible says our heavenly Father will also forgive us (Mt. 6:14).

 

Third and last, what we want to focus on is “Sacrifice”.

 

Look at Ephesians 5:2(NASB): “and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”  Jesus sacrificed his life on the cross for us, for our salvation.  And the reason is because he is the good Shepherd.  Look at John 10:11, 15, 17: “…  The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  …  and I lay down my life for the sheep.  …  lay down my life--.”  Let us start from sacrificing a small thing for each other.  And let us do so with willing heart, humbly and joyfully for each other for God’s glory.

 

The New Year 2019 has started.  As we all came together to worship God in this 1st of the New Year 2019, we have receive Jesus’ word saying “Love each other”.  I hope and pray that as this year goes by all of us may have deeper understanding of how much Jesus loves us.  As we have deeper understanding of Jesus’ love on the cross, may we be able to love each other with His love.  Let us love each other by being grateful for each other.  And let us express our gratitude to each other.  Also, let us forgive each other.  Even when we sin against each other, let us forgive as Jesus forgave us.  As Jesus sacrificed his life on the cross for us, let us sacrifice with a small thing for each other.  May God bless you all in this New Year 2019!

 

 

 

Wanting to obey Jesus’ command of ‘love each other’,

 

 

James Kim

(2019. 1. 7.)