Our top two commandments are love God and love People
That is a recurring theme I have been seeing for 2021.
I think for most believers it is easy to love God. Believers are able to see God’s love and return that love.
1 John 4:8
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.
1 John 4:19
We love, because He first loved us.
Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
Let’s look at the love people part.
How do we love them?
I believe the best way we can show love to someone is to pray for them. Lifting them up to God and seeking Him on their behalf is the ultimate form of love.
Other ways to show love are being kind, doing things for them, bringing them joy and hope….there are endless ways to show love to another person.
Showing that love isn’t always supposed to be behind closed doors, or inward. I think people should always know they are being loved. That someone is speaking on their behalf to God, that someone else cares about them enough to take time for them. It doesn’t need to advertise to the world that you are doing something kind for someone. I think just the person you are showing that to should know.
1 Peter 4:8 “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins."
Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you."
1 Corinthians 13:4-5 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Ephesians 4:2-3 “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
Matthew 5:44 –But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
Ephesians 6:18 –“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
James 5:16 – “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
What people are we supposed to love?
The ones that love us? Well that's usually pretty easy. Love our parents, love our kids, love our spouses, our family. Most situations these people are easy to love because they are a big part of our lives and bring us happiness and joy. They are usually kind to us and do good things for us. Loving those loving us doesn’t take too much effort.
Strangers to us? Well it can be easy to be like Jesus and show kindness and love to strangers. These people aren’t causing any trouble to us and it makes us feel good to help someone else. That help is how we can show love. Showing kindness to a stranger allows us to show love like Jesus.
Someone that is sick? How much do our hearts break for the sick? We just want to help them feel better. Do things for them, pray for them, bring a smile to their face.
Someone that has hurt us? I think this is where the flesh falls short. It can be so hard to love someone that has caused us to feel unloved, broken, pain, or suffering. How often do you pray for someone that has caused you deep pain? How often do you do kind acts or try to bring joy to someone that made you feel less than or broken as a person? I believe these are the people we are to love the most. Jesus loved those that hurt him and betrayed Him. He still loves us as sinners every day. He still loves us in our brokenness. I think we are to love others in their brokenness and the brokenness they cause. That is truly loving like Jesus!
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.”
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
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 John 3:16
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
1 John 4:20
If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.