A NEW COMMANDMENT

DAILY DEVOTIONALS BY PASTOR BILL MUIR

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A New Commandment

“This is my commandment,
that you love one another as I have loved you.”

John 15:12

For once, away from the crowds, Jesus began a long teaching session with His disciples. He had a new commandment for them, but as soon as He spoke, Peter asked a question that distracted the Eleven. Jesus repeated it later in the evening because it was essential this chosen little band never forgot it. After the meal Jesus began,
 

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to 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


What made this new? Now their love must be of the same quality as the love Jesus had for them! This is a standard certainly higher than how we love ourselves. When He returned to this commandment later in His instructions, He also gave an example that would soon take place.
 

“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.”

John 15:12-13


When Jesus faced the cross, His love led Him to be the propitiation (the sacrificial death appeasing God’s wrath) for our sins (I John 4:10). Love is an action. In my systematic theology book, this definition is given: “Love is self-giving for the benefit of others.” We know God is love, this means God eternally gives Himself to others! Jesus didn’t command that we clean up ourselves a bit before His sacrificial act of love. No! “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
 

Jesus revealed the significance of this bond between Himself and those chosen as friends. Jesus’ friends fulfill the command to love each other as He loved them (John 15:15-16).
 

Above all, remember, God is pleased with you when you abide in Christ, and love as He loves us. God gives us these encouraging promises:

 

“He will remember how you helped His people in the past and how you are still helping them. You belong to God, and He won’t forget the love you have shown His people.”

Hebrews 6:10

“As we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.”

1 John 4:17

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