Do you know Jesus? Do you know everything you can about Him, read His book, listen to music about Him, like to know what He has to say? That may be well and good, but knowing Him and about Him is different than having a relationship with Him. What does having a relationship with Him look like?
Having a relationship with another requires far more than just knowing about them or following what they have to say. It means living life together… talking with each other, sharing your hopes and dreams, working together, even when it is inconvenient.
In John 13:35, Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” To be in a relationship with Jesus, we must love one another. There’s not an out in that statement. It’s pretty definitive. He didn’t say we have to like everyone, which is a relief, because we don’t. However, He did say we are to love one another, just as He has loved us [John 13:34].
Jesus loves with extravagance. He holds nothing back. He loves unconditionally. We can’t do anything to make Him love us more than He does right now and we can’t do anything to make Him love us less than He does right now. We can’t do this in our own strength. We’ll screw it up. In fact, if you’re like me, you’ve botched the whole love like Jesus thing more times than you can count. Thankfully, God is in the miracle business and He can take our messes and make them into something wonderful. 1 Peter 4:8 tells us “love covers a multitude of sins.” The love of Jesus is love on steroids, so it trumps any mistake we’ve made.
Fortunately for us, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to us to guide us and direct us and even step in when necessary [Luke 24:49]. While we are incapable of loving one another as Christ loves us, we can yield to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to do it through us [Romans 5:5].
So, how are you loving today? Are you loving like Jesus does? If not, you can. But first you must yield.