Wednesday, April 13, 2011

John 13:34

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

Do you view people as a hindrance to your day?  If so, you are not alone for we all face this challenge. Interaction with people takes time, patience, and concentration which are three resources that we would rather conserve for tasks.  We have all had days when we would prefer to bury ourselves in our work then run the risk of having to interact with others and utilize our valuable time and energy on someone else.  When we have this attitude we need to immediately check ourselves and re-align our thoughts with God’s thoughts.  We are commanded in Philippians 2:5 to have the attitude in ourselves which was in Christ Jesus.  People were such a priority to Jesus when He walked the earth that He not only gave the command for us to love one another but He went on to say in verse 35 that all men will know that we are His disciples if we have love for one another.  WE WANT TO BE IDENTIFIED WITH JESUS! There is no greater and more important marker of identification that we could ever have then our relationship with Jesus Christ.

God loved the world so much that He gave up His Son so that whoever believes in Him will never perish but have everlasting life.  People are a priority to God and are the object of His love and in order to draw near to God we must draw near to His priorities.  Love is the wanting of and acting upon the highest and best for another person. In order to do this we need to interact with others.  We need to get to know them and cultivate relationships.  This will never happen if we set a path before us that is designed to avoid them. God makes it clear to us in James 4:8 that He desires to draw nearer to us.  The infinite, eternal, perfect, righteous, sovereign God desires a relationship with us.  As David said: “who is man that you are mindful of us?”  If God desires fellowship with people, who are we to desire something different?

Make people a priority in your day by desiring fellowship with them.  Get to know someone new or re-engage with someone that you already know.  Don’t do this as a superficial exercise - going through the motions so that you can check people interaction off your “good Christian to do list”.  Remember the command is not to talk to others but to LOVE others.  Obviously loving them requires us to talk to them but don’t do the bare minimum; Jesus didn’t- He gave His life on our behalf and it is He Who we are to identify with.  Most importantly, pray for others today.  You will surely hear someone say something that requires prayer.  There is no action that expresses our love for another person more than our going to God in prayer on that person’s behalf.  Don’t ever make the mistake of minimizing prayer.  Pray, but also make yourself available for God to work through you in other ways to reach others.  This can only be done if you make yourself available to fellowship with them.

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