Do What We are Told

Holly and I have two kids that we both just adore. They keep us busy; they keep us full of life. They really are just true joys, and I can’t put into words how much I love my kids.

I jokingly say that they are smart like their mama and pretty like their daddy. But, they actually are really great kids. But, being as smart as they are (yes, I’m biased) they love to ask questions. They want to understand. They are always asking, why? Why? Why?

This is something that every parent understands. Every kid wants to know why.

And at times I resorted to an answer that I swore that I’d never use – “Because I said so!” I need you do this, just because!

I thought about this common parenting issue when I read what Jesus said today in John 15: 12-14:

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.

540_293_resize_20120801_9b1935513c954d4738260cb34a7e58bc_jpgHe says – this is my commandment. Do what I command! This is what I want you to do. No questions. No arguing just do it.

Love. Love each other. There is no great love than to lay down your life for your friend.

And Jesus said – you are my friends, if you do what I command. Love. Love other. Love as Jesus loved us.

Love. That’s the only thing in life that can change someone. Yes, intellect can affect. Yes, righteousness can make an impact. Yes, passion is of great power.

But you really want to change someone? Love them. Love has the power to change people in ways that we will never, comprehend, ways that we really can’t even understand.

Jesus changes us through His wants to us to the same. Love each other, through His love.

Plus, when you love them, you don’t just change them. You change you.
Love changes them. And it changes us.

That was His command to us. Love as we are loved. And if we do that, we really can change the world.

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Words for a New Year

I write this on January 2, 2012. There’s no telling when you will read this, it may today, or it may six months from now. Who knows. But no matter when you read it, this passage is a powerful call to a great New Year’s resolution, a great daily resolution, a great goal for each day.

Love. That’s the call of Christianity, that’s the command of Jesus Christ to His followers. Listent to what Jesus says in John 15:12-13:

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

In this passage, it isn’t too much longer until He would be betrayed and handed it over for the cross. He wanted to leave His follower with a clear and concise understanding of what He wanted from them.

He could have said go out there and strive to be perfect with everything you are. He could have said be the more religious person you can think of. He could have given a variety of different commands.

He didn’t. He said this – Love.

But that was always His commandment. What was His greatest commandement for us? Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and your strength. And love your neighbor as yourself.

Love. That’s our command as Christians. And that’s a great resolution for us in 2012, and each day of our lives. To love God with all that we are. And to love each other.

Today, will you love? Even the ones that are hard to love? Even the one’s that don’t make it easy to love? Even the ones that create a challenge to love?

That’s Jesus’ command for us today. And in doing that, we will show the world that we are His disciples. Today, may we follow His command.

Today, may we love.

The Simplest Command

I was talking last night at Bible Study here as Asbury about the Bible and how we can get bogged down in certain passages or interpretations. We can get confused, worried, and upset about how to interpret certain passages.

That’s one reason I’ve always like something that John Wesley said – Scripture contains everything needful for salvation, and everything needful is made plain within. So, in other words, everything we need to know to be saved is found in the Bible, and if it’s so important that our eternal salvation depends upon, God will make it simple to understand.

There is so much simple truth in the Bible. So many simple things that are at the heart of what it means to be a Christian. The Christian life really isn’t that complicated. It’s pretty simple in the end.

Look at Romans 13: 8-10 says:

Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

We see it laid out here. All the commandments, the whole of the Old and the New Testament is laid out for us – love. Love each other. If you love, you won’t murder, steal, or any of other hurtful things.

Love sums up the law. It’s the simplest of the commands. Love.

Today, in our lives, is every action guided by love? Is every word, every action, even every thought, is it guided by love? That’s our greatest command as Christians. To love.

It’s the simplest command.

But before we can fully love others as God wants us to, we must first know the power of His love. For us to fulfill this simplest command, we must first be fully loved ourselves.

Today, may we know the power of God’s amazing love. And may we love one another in the same way.