By Jennifer Moreno
Jesus Christ is love, He represents what we all should be, to love each other, to have compassion for one another, to have forgiveness in our hearts.
Many call themselves Christian, but few have Jesus in their hearts. Just knowing Jesus in the mind isn’t enough, we must allow Jesus to work in our hearts to transform us.
Jesus said in his new commandment to love one another, as he has loved us … “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
So how we know Jesus loves us? We know this because G-d created this universe and loves and cares for the rebellious human race. G-d demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us.”
1 John 3:16 also highlights this concept- “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”
All of us want to love like Jesus. We want to be generous, forgiving, and compassionate enough to love people unconditionally like Jesus did. But no matter how hard we try, we fall short. Our flesh gets in the way, our pride and our selfish desires.
Now we know Jesus was human too, but he was also G-d incarnate. He created people, so He was able to see people through a different lens and love them in a way we can’t. The apostle John said, 1 John 4:16 says – “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in God, and God abides in him.”
You and I are not the definition of love. We can love and learn how to love, but we can’t do it perfectly. We love, but we hold back for whatever reasons. Most of the time it’s because we either don’t want to seek the highest good in someone because you feel they don’t deserve it and other times because you simply don’t want to get hurt again. The reality is…we seek out our own protection.
But yet Jesus calls us to do this in John 13:34 – “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.”
So how do we learn how to love? The secret is in the scriptures, we must abide in him.
We must first realize that being a true Christian is extremely hard, Christian or not in loving others. But Jesus gives us the key to doing this… Mark 10:27 says – “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”
In John 15: 1-10 G-d explains this in detail – “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
G-d clearly says toward the end, apart from Him you can’t do anything. We can’t do the Christian life on our own, it’s impossible!
Then that’s where this comes in, when we surrender our life to Jesus, we abide in Christ. Once we abide in Christ, He loves others through us. We can endure pain, rejection and even humiliation because Jesus is the vine that sustains us. His love heals our pain and He alone supplies us with the strength to keep going.
Our Christian life is a growing process and we continue to grow like branches on a vine until we die. Everyday we face difficult circumstances and we come across bitter, envious, mean people. But those are the opportunities to bless and pray for them. Everyday we mature a little more.
As we abide in Jesus, we learn to know him better and to trust him more. With caution, we reach out to others and learn to love them. The more we trust in Christ, the more our compassion will be.
We have a choice, we can completely pull back from loving or we can give our hurt and pain to Christ and try again. A good friend of mine once said, what matters is that we’re already praying for our enemies and for people, that in itself is already loving them, you’re already expanding your heart.
Abiding in Christ is the most important thing to do and when we live that truth, we can begin to love like Jesus does.