Bible Society of South Africa
Carina Francke

God in us – Day 16

Bear fruit – show love

Bible text(s)

34And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35If you have love for one another, then everyone will know that you are my disciples.”

John 13:34-35GNBOpen in Bible reader

13The greatest love a person can have for his friends is to give his life for them.

John 15:13GNBOpen in Bible reader

18My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.

1 John 3:18GNBOpen in Bible reader

Our creator’s rulership in our lives is being made visible by the fruit that we bear and the one command that encompasses all others, is love. This command implies that everyone, whom we come across, should see in us a different attitude, conduct, value system, manner of speaking and respect towards them.

The command of loving each other is not a new one, but was issued since the earliest of times (see Leviticus 19:18). However, it is revolutionary in the sense that we should love as Jesus loves. Love is more than warm feelings, hugs and kisses – it is an attitude that reveals itself in actions and how you treat other people. The heart of Jesus’ love is sacrificial, even if it cost him his life. As he said himself, “Greater love has no one than this; that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

Do we have to love like this? Yes!

Impossible! Yes, if we try to love with our own resources and abilities. Our Father made provision for our inability to love as he does and sent his Holy Spirit to teach, help and lead us in this, and other matters regarding a godly life. The question we have to ask ourselves is, to what extent do we lean and depend on the Holy Spirit’s working and inspiration, and how obedient are we when he gives us direction?

How do we love in a practical way? Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth (1 John 3:18). By helping when it’s not convenient; by giving when it hurts; by devoting energy to others’ welfare, rather than one’s own. Moreover, to act on what the Spirit impresses on one’s heart.

What is Jesus’ purpose with this love command? To demonstrate visibly to everyone, especially to a broken world, what people who claim to be his followers look like; how they act towards one another, and how they serve, care and support each other. An even greater purpose is that by this kind of love, unbelievers can be introduced to the astonishing, sacrificial love of Jesus, who paved the way for everyone who believes in him to be snatched away from the claws of death and receive life in him.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.15
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