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A Proper Love For Others

“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.” John 13:34-35 (NKJV)

If there is one thing we can all relate to it is our ability to love ourselves.  Before you scoff, or rebuke me for narcissism, I would encourage you to think about this for a moment.  For example, we make sure that we are fed, bathed, clothed, and we usually have a list of things we want to do, all for the purpose of taking care of ourselves.  We do this because deep down inside, we love ourselves.  

The fact we can become depressed tells us we want more for ourselves than what we currently have. God knows this, and to be perfectly clear, loving oneself is not a problem, unless we become self-absorbed, and self-centered as a result of our love for self.  

God truly understands how much we love ourselves and He has given us Scriptures to guide us in loving others with this same type of love.  When asked, “Which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus responded 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.”  He then followed this up by giving the second greatest commandment, by saying, “And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:36-39). 

As husbands we have been given this same type of commandment with respect to how we are to love our wives.  Ephesians 5:28 tells us, So husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.”

Loving oneself isn’t the issue, but loving others as we love ourselves can be an ongoing challenge. To forgive those who have offended and hurt us, just as God has forgiven us, is a genuine act of love.  To take our valuable time and resources and invest it into others when we have our own plans for those things is another example. Regardless of how our love is manifested it should always be a spirit-led willingness to do what is best for others, regardless of the costs involved.  

Q: How can we consistently have this type of love to give to others?

Here’s the thing — our love for others will always be a byproduct of our genuine love for our Lord.  As we love Him, we will usually find we have a greater love for others.  God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom. 5:8).  Christ laid down His own life for others — this is how we are to love others as well.  When we have this love, we will walk in faith — doing what we know to be righteous.  As we do, God will empower us and provide what is needed.

I want to encourage you to think and pray upon these truths. 

STUDY QUESTION: According to John 13:34-35, how did Jesus say we will know if we are His true disciples?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Do you have a genuine love for others?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Make your heart's desire to continue to read your Bible daily so you can understand the nature of God, and see the many examples of His love for us.  As you do, you will find your love for Him is growing, and your love for others is as well. 

MAKE THIS YOUR PRAYER TODAY: Father, thank You for Your amazing love for me. Thank You for giving me Your word to show me how much You love me, and what this love looks like in action. Help me to love others in this same way. In Jesus’ precious name, amen…


May the Lord bless your day, Scott


Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000