Rekindled Love Standard (Lent 6, 2016)

In John 13:34, Jesus gives us the Love Standard: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

Nothing irks a perfectionist quite the way that a high standard with a great probability of failure does.  If a gold standard is like the best of its class, Jesus’ love standard stands alone as the only one in its class. No other love really compares as fulfilling that command.

Thought 6Jesus states “My command is this.  I’m feeling like “Ok. I’ve got this covered. Obedience is my thing. I can do it.”

Love. No problem. I’ve got that in my wheel house.

Love each other. Wait a minute. This is getting harder. It assumes the other person doesn’t annoy me. It’s kinda hard to love someone you can barely sit with for 10 minutes without exhausting your patience quota.

Love each other as I have loved you. Really, Jesus? Isn’t that expecting a bit much?  Raising the bar a little too high?

  • Do you mean that it doesn’t matter whether the other person is lovable or not?
  • Do you mean that I need to do it anyway?
  • And I need to love them fully like you loved all these unlovables here on earth?
  • Even our enemies?

Interestingly, loving like Jesus loved isn’t a sentimental thing, but deeply rooted in what it means to love our Father at all.

For those Christians who wish only their friends well, or who stand up to lead worship, to preach, or to teach Bible studies all the while harboring resentment toward others (whether friends or enemies), Jesus would admonish us to first rekindle our love to His Love Standard.

Give it up for Lent: the world’s lower standard of love.

Jesus’ Love Standard is (not surprisingly) derived from the Old Testament:

  1. In Leviticus 19:1-37, God spells out what it means to live as one who is set apart for God…as one who is morally upright. And what it means to love your neighbor as yourself with that higher standard.  If you have time, read that entire passage with God’s love standard in mind. Ask yourself how each applies to loving like Jesus loved.
  2. Especially verses Leviticus 19:17 “‘Do not hate your brother in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in his guilt. 18 “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.”  How is rebuking a neighbor involved in God’s higher Love Standard?
  3. Accusing a brother or sister of hate isn’t the same as a loving rebuke against sin. Why?
  4. He sums it up with verse 37 “‘Keep all my decrees and all my laws and follow them. I am the LORD.'” In fact, “I am the Lord” appears frequently in Leviticus 19. How did Jesus take the words of the Law and demonstrate that they have life?

Jesus' New Command and Love Standard

ReKindle is the 2016 Lenten devotional series from Seminary Gal.

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Acknowledging that former years’ devotional series remain popular, Be Still and Know that I AM God can be obtained through the archives beginning in March 2014 and With Christ in the Upper Room  is archived beginning February 18, 2015.


Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on February 16, 2016

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