This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.–John 15:12 (NKJV)
Here is a simple admonition from our Lord. “I love you; now you go and love everyone else.” The premise is simple. We have a pattern to follow. No problem — yet we fall short of loving others as freely and completely as our Savior does. I hope the following points will help in our quest to receive and give God's love!
I can’t receive it if I don’t believe it.
God loves every single person in the world, but too many people assume that God can't love them. They think they have to earn it rather than receive it as a free gift. Loving others starts with believing that God truly does love us as a good, good Father!
I can’t contain it, and I can’t constrain it.
If I truly believe it and receive it, then I have no choice but to share it with others. And to be like God I can't choose other people who I think are worthy of my love. I must love everyone. James was quick to point out to his readers that we cannot show partiality. When Jesus affirmed that the greatest responsibilities we have is to love God and love ohers, a lawyer asked who his neighbor was. Jesus told the story of a good Samaritan to show that our neighbor who needs our love is anyone we find in need. We can't pick who to love because God loved us before we were worthy.
I don’t treasure it if I can’t measure it.
Love is not just a feeling or a declaration. It must take the form of action. I can say I'm a grateful recipient of God's love and share it with others, but until I can demonstrate it in practical ways, it's all talk. True love for others takes our time and resources. When we invest these we know the love of God is flowing to us and through us.
God's love is for us, so we must believe and receive it. As it flows through us, we love everyone else — whether we deem them worthy or not. Finally, we must be able to measure time and resources we are spending to love others to ensure that we truly are loving as we have been loved!