Lent 2019 – The Meaning of Discipleship Part 2

March 30, 2019

John 13:35, “This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other.”

Love. It’s the easiest and hardest thing to do. We, as a society use the word to describe a plethora of things from people, places, things, animals, jobs, cars, and even our selves to name a few. The Bible certainly tells us about love several times throughout the scriptures.

According to the Christian Bible Reference the word “love” appears in the KJV 131 times in the Old Testament and 179 in the New Testament. The amounts increase based upon the translation used, below is an example of NASV, NIV and NRSV.

What does the word love mean? According to Merriam-Webster it is:

strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties

affection and tenderness felt by lovers

affection based on admiration, benevolence or common interests

• an assurance of affection

warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion

• the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration

• a beloved person

unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good

• the fatherly concern of God for  humankind

brotherly concern for others

• a person‘s adoration of God

I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit and God’s timing. I just received my daily email from Abbey of the Arts and the quote is perfect for our topic today.

To be honest with you, I spend a lot of time contemplating “love” especially with regard to the Jesus’ commandment to us, to love one another. Not just a family member, not just the neighbors on my street, not just the people I like, no…Jesus meant everyone, everywhere. Sometimes I get caught up in the idea I have to like someone to be able to love them, but Jesus didn’t say that. He simply said, “Love one another.” John 13:35. How do we reconcile to people we have never met, who live and work under different circumstances and live under different kinds of government and who worship differently than we do. The “unknowns” can certainly be scary. I have a friend who recently shared a story with me where she described having a disagreement with her husband, I don’t recall the details, only her response, “Yes! I love you but I don’t like you very much right now!” That provided a lot of clarity for me about “loving.” Love is possible in the midst of not fully liking or agreeing with another. There’s a big part of me that thinks this might be close to what Jesus is telling us to do. Loving without restraint and barriers or even boundaries is hard, at least it seems that way to me. I suppose my human self-preservation and protection mode kicks in when it comes to things like immigration and humanitarian efforts, I mistakenly place myself in a position of arbitrary control when in fact I have none. You see I’m a “rule” follower and enforcer mentality and I’m not opposed to either cause and in helping others, I just tend to be very concrete in my thought pattern and too often too rigid. As a Christian and as a child of God, I want to love others and help others I’m just cautious and timid, maybe even lacking a bit of faith. I’m. It giving up though and I certainly do not want you to either. Our world is hurting in so many ways right now, I believe in the power of prayer and in God. My hope is to work towards a common ground goal and be supportive of world peace, learning to respect people’s choices and to love them especially when I’m not sure I even like them.

Friends, thank you for spending some time reading my thoughts, feelings and emotions. Feel free to leave me a message if you want. Let’s continue to support one another and to prayer for each other. Let’s place our trust in God! May your day be filled with joy, laughter and love. ~Peace~

Below are some bible verses about loving one another.

1 Peter 4:8 EVS, “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”

Romans 12:10 EVS, “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”

1 John 4:7 EVS, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.

1 John 4:11 EVS, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

Romans’ 13:8 EVS, “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.”

Galatians 5:13 EVS, “For you were called to freedom, brothers.  Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” 

John 15:12 EVS, “ This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” 

1 John 3:11 EVS, “This is my commandment , that you love one another as I have loved you.”

Leviticus 19:18 EVS, “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”

1 Thessalonians 3:12 EVS, “And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you,”

Breath Prayer: Praise the Lord! …I am loved by God.