I wonder if Jesus ever had to say that to the disciples? Spending three years with those rough, and sometimes unruly, disciples must have made Jesus want to say what every mother in the world has said... "do it because I said so" In John 14 and 15 Jesus did say quite clearly that there is a new commandment and it was to love each other the way He loved us. No doubt there were many occasions before and after the resurrection that Jesus would have been able to say... "Do it Peter. Do it John. Just love one another" (Okay, maybe not John, but certainly Peter).
Is he saying that to you today? If he polled your church body, your famiy, or your co-workers would your "Friends" be able to say you were loving them like Jesus loved His disciples? Ouch.
In God's economy, love is the litmus test of obedience to Him. Faith is good. Hope is good. But that greatest of these is love. The outgrowth of genuine, Christ-based love is three fold.
#1. You demonstrate obedience to Jesus and therefore glorify God. (We really only need this to motivate us, but there's more)
#2. You produce godly fruit in the life of the relationship. John 15:16 tells us that when we love each other we bear fruit and the fruit abides. That means you literally transform yourself and others and produce "good" works/fruit. Not just for the moment, but fruit that lasts - meaning it has eternal, everlasting qualities to it. The fruit of the Spirit is nine wonderful fruits that result from truly loving each other in the body of Christ. They are... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Are you seeing that kind of fruit burst forth in your life and in the life of those around you. If you are truly loving others... you will.
#3. You joy becomes full! John 15:11 is a promise from Jesus that when we obey His commands (like loving others) our joy will be full. Think about that. How full is your joy right now? Is it kinda full? Is it overflowing full? I want a FULL JOY! I want to experience the greatest, most everlasting joy possible and I can...you can. It starts with loving the Lord God with all your heart, sould and mind. And it reaches it's full potential when our love for God overflows in love to one another... they way He loved us!
Love this week with patience, humility, charity, forgiveness, kind words, gentle words, and a tongue that is self-controlled. Peace out... Jay