Love: The Key to True Christianity
He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep”. John 21:17
Love is the foundation of Christianity. John 3:16 says; “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” Under the old covenant, God gave the Israelites, Ten Commandments to live by (Exodus 20: 1-17). In Mathew 22:36-40, Jesus Christ was asked for the greatest commandment in the law. He answered by saying; “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Love is so significant to our day to day living on earth that Jesus Christ had to summarize the Ten Commandments into two; Love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself. Basically, Jesus was saying; if we observe God’s commandment of love, we will automatically be fulfilling all the other commandments. A man that loves God will put God first, worship only God and not use His name in vain. A man that loves his neighbor will not steal from his neighbor, lie against his neighbor, nor do all the other things that affect other people negatively.
John 13:34-35 – “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
We have been given a new commandment - a commandment to love. When Jesus gave the commandment to love, He meant that we should love others with the God-kind of love. A selfless-kind of love that has the power to transform our lives. God’s concept of love (true love) is sometimes difficult for humans to grasp, because one of the easiest ways to express love is through fellowship –sharing with others. God loves so much that He shared His most valuable treasure -His Only Son. Jesus loves so much that He gave His most valuable treasure -His life. One of the most valuable things we can share is ourselves: our time, effort, and resources.
Loving others through fellowship does not require any special talent or ability, but takes a sacrificial heart and observant eyes to see the needs of others. According to 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; a true disciple of Christ is not known by how much of the bible they have memorized or by how many spiritual gifts he possesses. A true disciple of Christ is known by how much love he expressed to others. “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another”. John 13:35
“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:1-4
Dear friend, God’s commandment of Love is not a suggestion. It is a commandment that must be obeyed and acted upon. It is an action word. We cannot choose and pick who or when to love. Regardless of how we feel, we must make up our mind to always walk in love – love God with all our heart, and love our neighbor as ourselves, because walking in love is the key to true Christianity.