MORE THAN LOVE?
By this all will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another.
It's really tempting to think that there must be more to the Christian life than just loving - loving God and loving others. There must be a deeper theology than that. It must be more difficult to understand. It has to be more complicated than that - more confusing. It must be something that we have to study more and argue about and defend. Oh, I know - it has to contain a set of rules to follow.
Love God and love each other. It can't be that simple. Or can it? Well, Brothers and Sisters, it really is that simple. If we love God with all our hearts and if we love others as we love ourselves ... then everything else will fall into place.
So then, why do we want to make it so difficult? I think it is because really, deep down, we'd rather try to get around it. Let's be honest, love is fun when it's easy, but the rest of the time, it's hard, and that's exactly what Jesus is talking about here - the hard kind of love. If people are going to recognize us as His disciples by our love, that means they will see that we love as He loves. That is now they will know we belong to Him. Remember the hymn - They'll Know We Are Christians By Our Love. That's it!
The best picture of Jesus' love is the cross - where He gave up His rights and willingly laid down His life to save the world. It cost Him everything. Love doesn't get any harder than that.
Other times we see His love in the form of compassion, guiding and caring for people and meeting every need. When crowds are hungry He feeds them. When people come to Him for healing, He never turns anyone away.
Sometimes Jesus loves people by telling truths they don't want to hear. One time Jesus showed His love by crying. He weeps with those who weep.
There's no one formula for love, just an example for us to follow. And guys, we can only do that by keeping our eyes on Him.
Let us pray: Loving God, thank you for loving us every day in every way. Help us to love You above all else and to love others as you love them. Amen.