Love One Another
Feb 08, 2021
| By Barb Oliver
2020 was a challenging year. BRAVE Women leaned into and clung to the scriptures that encouraged us to ABIDE. Remain in Christ, to hang on! It was a year that we all felt unsure, unsteady, and even alone. But we knew if we replaced those feelings for the truth of God's Word, we would overcome and be able to remain and ABIDE in Him. And we pressed on!
This year, 2021, in my early morning moments with the Holy Spirit, He has whispered in my ear and my heart His steadfast love for me. I am blown away when I think about it! He loves me for who I am and who He created me to be, with all my faults, imperfections, and sin. He loves me! He loves me unconditionally, wholly, entirely, and perfectly. And He calls me to extend this same kind of love to others.
"I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this, all people will know that you are My disciples: if you have love for one another." - John 13:34-35 (NASB)
Love One Another:
Jesus was speaking to His 11 disciples who were gathered around the dinner table. It was after Judas had slipped out of the room to carry out his evil plan; a plan Jesus knew all too well would put into motion His ultimate act of love. You see, Jesus had taught this small group of mismatched men many things in the last three years, but He couldn't leave them without first giving them one final lesson, one profound commandment. He must provide the one thing that would separate them from other groups of people with a common goal.
They were bold, but it wouldn't be their boldness nor their speaking abilities that would set them apart for Jesus. It wouldn't be their shared interests as fishermen, or net menders, or business owners that would draw people. What would it take for these 11 men to impact the world as Jesus had done? What would wake people up to turn their attention away from themselves and to the lost?
Though they came from various backgrounds, after three years with the Rabbi they had one distinguishing factor in common: It was their LOVE! It had to be the one thing that stood out to others. Their love for one another was the one thing people recognized was different. Love is what Jesus taught them.
They did not start out loving each other. The disciples were a ragtag bunch of independent, self-focused, rough, and unruly guys. But in following Jesus for three years, they had not only witnessed His love for others but experienced for themselves the unconditional love of Jesus. This unmistakable, no holds barred love and patience of Jesus began to change them. His example of washing their feet (John 13:14-15) even washing the feet of the one who would betray Him, demonstrated that His love is not based on the recipient's worthiness. He loves us despite our flaws, sin, and our unworthiness. Because the very nature and character of God is this, "God is Love." (1 John 4:8)
And so gals, how will the lost recognize us – BRAVE Women? How will women in our community, neighborhoods, and even our church know the genuine, saving love of Jesus?
By this: "I am giving you a new commandment, that you (Barb) love one another; just as I have loved you (Barb), that you also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples: if you have love for one another."
Generation after generation, we are to love one another. Through all life circumstances, women of all ages, single, married, widow, from the young to the more mature, we are to love one another.
"If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that.
If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that.
If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that's charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that. I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You'll never - I promise - regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we're at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind. Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, and criticize their faults - unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don't condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you'll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you'll find life given back, but not merely given back - given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity." - Luke 6:32-38 (MSG)
We could pick many "words" to focus on, but for this year, 2021, I want to zero in on LOVE! Loving others as Christ Jesus loves me. It takes on new meaning when I hear every week:
You are Loved!