The Light of Love
Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to The Kingdom Perspective.
In His famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us that the church is to be a “city on a hill” (Matthew 5:14). By this He means that we are to be a new social arrangement visible for all the world to see—a community of redemption in an otherwise rancorous culture (Philippians 2:14). The church is a foretaste of heaven, pointing the way to the kingdom of God.
Thus, the way we live together, as the church, is to be the most distinct and attractive thing about us. We are to interact with one another in such a way that the unbelieving world takes notice. Our love for one another functions like a lighthouse, guiding the way to safe harbor.
Jesus put it like this in the gospel of John,
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. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35 emphasis added)
Note well, the repeated “one another” references. Jesus’s emphasis is on how we treat our fellow Christians. Certainly, we are to care for our unbelieving neighbors indiscriminately and this, indeed, is a witness to them. But the most distinctive thing about us, Jesus says, is how we delightfully and indiscriminately love and care for one another—regardless of our differences (ethnic, political, economic, etc.). Such a community is extremely attractive and outrageously rare. But, it is this kind of love that sets us apart as Jesus’s people.
Do you actively pursue loving like this?
Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.
“Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God, got up from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself.
Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. So He *came to Simon Peter. He *said to Him, “Lord, do You wash my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.” Peter *said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” Simon Peter *said to Him, “Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.” Jesus *said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, “Not all of you are clean.”
Therefore when he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him; if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him immediately. Little children, I am with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.’”
~ John 13:1-11, 31-35 (NASB)
“Do all things without complaining or arguments; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding firmly the word of life, so that on the day of Christ I can take pride because I did not run in vain nor labor in vain.”
~ Philippians 2:14-16 (NASB)