“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his
life for his friends” (John 15:13).
are so many branches and degrees of love, that it is easy to
lump the love of Jesus in one of these categories. His love
is in a class by itself, not comparable to any other. When it
is classified as the ultimate love to be emulated and applied
to the other classes, we are beginning to get the picture.
greatest thing about the greatest love is that we can harness
it to other loves and enhance them to a degree that makes them
greater. Our love is conditional and reciprocal; we love “if,
when, because and just until.” If we don’t receive love
first, we might not love at all. Not so, with the “greater
love” that Jesus has. We love Him BECAUSE He loved us first
(1 John 4:19). Had He waited for us to lovingly turn our
hearts toward Him before He showered us with His love, there
would be an eternal wait!
did not suggest that we try to love one another; He
gave a commandment: “This is my commandment, That ye
love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12). He never
commands something that we are unable to do. Right off, let
us realize that He not only tells us what He expects of us, He
equips us to do it.
always awed at the intricacy of the Tabernacle that Moses
built. God showed him the pattern of the one in Heaven with
instructions to duplicate it on earth in the portable tent
that would accompany them on their journey to the Promised
Land and later was applied to the Jerusalem temple built by
Lord told Moses that He had called certain men and filled them
with the spirit of God “in wisdom and in understand and in
knowledge and in all manner of workmanship” to construct the
Tabernacle and all its instruments of service according to His
pattern (Exodus 31:1-4). You see, God never requires anything
of us that He doesn’t equip us to bring to completion.
does that have to do with His commandment to “love one
another” as He loves us? Simply put, we can’t do it! We
filter our love through our emotions and experiences to go to
those who deserve it, who measure up to our standards and love
us reciprocally. So how can we love like God does,
unconditionally and aggressively?
human instinct is to just love those who love and benefit us
first. How do we love like God? When we receive the Love of
God, the kind that sent Jesus to the cross to die for folks
who hated Him, we are fully equipped to love those who don’t
love us, who have injured us in some way and who even wish to
harm us. When we come to Jesus, accepting Him as our Savior
and become a born-again child of God, we are pure and
blameless in His sight. When He looks at us, He sees the robe
of righteousness He supplied instead of our sinfulness. He
sees that we have been cleansed by the blood of His beloved
Son, and we are in fact a new creation who never existed
before, innocent as a baby. Since our new life has just
begun, we have the capacity to show love, in kind, like was
shown to us.
actually loving others with the love of God which was given
hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed
abroad [scattered freely] in our hearts by the Holy Ghost
which is given unto us” (Romans 5:5).
gave us a task and then supplied the ability and the tools
with which we could accomplish it.
other tool He gave us was the ability to love ourselves. No,
not selfishly, but as a child of God who is loved by Him. We
don’t have to live with the guilt of our past, our failures
and missteps. They are gone! We are that new creation whose
name has been written in God’s Birth Record Book (Lamb’s Book
of Life). That’s why we can love our neighbor as ourselves,
as Jesus commanded. If you loathe yourself, your life of
failure, doubts and confusion, you will love others with the
same condemnation. We must be free of our unlovable self and
see ourselves as God sees us in order to love others.
taught that the greatest commandment was to love God with our
whole being (because He loves us), “And the second is like
unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew
armor of Love like that, we can defeat the devil every time he
tries to trip us with the failure of others who demonstrate
‘damaged’ love. It is true that there are folks that we just
can’t get along with no matter how hard we try or how much we
love them; and there may be times when it is best to put
distance between us. But we must not let that distance be
filled with resentment or hatred, rather with love and
compassion, the same that God has covered us with. Otherwise,
the relationship will be a heavy burden to carry around even
though we are apart.
asked: What happens to good people when bad things happen to
them? Answer: They become better good people.
to add love, subtract hate, multiply good, and divide between
what is good and truthful and what is bad and in error. The
world is not a playground, but a classroom. Our character
develops as we learn how to apply the equation. If we want
people to love us, we have to live so they can trust us. If
we don’t learn those lessons, then we have failed the class.
John Hagee said: “Human love is of limited, restrictive,
selective, compacted capacity. God’s love, which we have
access to, is unlimited, unconditional, all inclusive, free,
ever expanding without boundaries.”
cures people—both the ones who give it and the ones who
Menninger, M.D., quoted by Harold H. Martin the The
Saturday Evening Post.
you know if you are loved? When you hurt someone deeply and
they still desire the best for you.
you know if you love someone? When they hurt you deeply and
you still desire the best for them.
test of love is discovered when someone puts “the squeeze” on
you. What kind of nectar is emitted? Is it sweet or is it
defines your character? Circumstances or people
won't--unless you let them. God wants His love to be the
defining medium of who you are, a natural flow from Him to you
“Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and myself founded empires,
but on what foundation did we rest the creations of our
genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded an empire upon
love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him.”
summed it up:
this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of
his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us
commandment” (1 John 3:23).
measure the worth of loving God, ourselves and others in the
light of eternity, it will all be worth it. If we fail,
wouldn’t eternity be an enormously expensive venture?
hold back love. Love God with your whole being and
others as yourself. If you don’t feel loved by anyone
else, you can rest assured that God loves you intensely—enough
to die for you! --So, love any way!