Read John 13
Jesus washing the disciples' feet; commandment of love; Jesus foretells His death and second coming; the vine and the branches; promise of the Holy Spirit.
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another (John 13:34).
The Christian's view of life's values should be far different from that of the worldly minded. To truly gain the most out of life, it will be helpful to sincerely examine not only our attitudes, but our objectives and motives. By answering these questions perhaps you will have a clearer understanding of yourself. Is most of my time and thought occupied with others to better myself? To outdo others? To be recognized or praised? Or am I living to love the unlovely, to serve the undeserving, and to permit others to see Christ through my actions? These motives direct the path on which our life is traveling. We are either going in the direction God is directing or we are going our own way. Like Jesus, we should desire to do the will of God. I can of Mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me (John 5:30).
Living to please self, no matter how disguised it may be, is exposed by our critical and even cold attitude toward another person. These attitudes have their roots in many areas. We love those persons we pick and choose. Others are left out because of race, nationality, socioeconomic background or a host of other prejudices. For one reason or another we all encounter things we do not agree with. However, it is important to keep an open mind. Consider the earliest Christians (all of them Jews). It was difficult for them to accept the fact that they should accept Gentiles as followers of Christ. Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34).
All too often, Christians ignore the new commandment altogether and continue to express their old nature of revenge, strife, envy, and even hatred. They try to justify their action with the excuse that they were only defending their rights. Yet, the Lord brings situations into our lives to test the depth and fullness of our love for Him. These situations will often include dealing with people who are hurting and need patient nurturing. This is a true test of the love of Jesus being active in your life. It can be very trying to love at all times. Jesus loves you and me unconditionally. But knowing myself, I believe it would even be trying for Jesus to love ME at times. So, let's follow the example of Christ and love, even when it is hard to love.
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God (I John 4:7).
Thought for Today:
Christ's love can make us as tolerant to the errors of others as we are to our own.
For John 13:18: See Ps. 41:9. John 15:25: See Ps. 35:19; 69:4.
13:10 but not all, but not every one; all were clean except Judas; 15:2 purgeth it, eliminates what is keeping it from bearing better fruit.
Pray for Staff: Rick Hash • Government Officials: Sec. Arne Duncan (Dept. of Education) and Rep. John Carter (TX) • Country: Djibouti (447,000) in eastern Africa • Major languages: French and Arabic • Limited religious freedom • 91% Muslim; 7% Roman Catholic; .75% Eastern Orthodox; about 300 Protestants • Prayer Suggestion: Prayer with an upright spirit and heart is a delight to God ( Prov. 15:8).
Memory Verse for the Week: Titus 3:3