"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:34-35 NIV
Thoughts for Today
The Scriptures offer a multitude of "one another" commands concerning relationships among believers … encourage one another, be devoted to one another, honor one another, live in harmony with one another, accept one another, instruct one another, serve one another, forgive one another … and on and on. "Love one another" is at the core of all of them.
In today's scripture, Jesus tells us to love one another as he has loved us. Of course, Jesus' love is greater than we can even imagine … but he is telling us to follow his example. Jesus loves us unconditionally. He wants us to love others unconditionally—not based on personality or looks or behavior or even our feelings. Unconditionally.
Jesus loved with his actions. He humbled himself, coming to earth as a baby and growing and living among us. Suffering the indignities and torture of the cross. His actions demonstrate the depth of his love in ways words could not begin to explain.
Consider this …
We tend to view love as a feeling, but sometimes the action must come first. Is there someone in your family … your church … your workplace … who just rubs you the wrong way? You know you should love this person, but it would be so much easier if their attitude would change.
Jesus wants us to love unconditionally. To demonstrate love through action—even when we don't "feel" like it.
Ask him to help you see this person through his eyes. Ask him to help you love this person even if he or she doesn't "deserve" it. And then step out in faith and love through your actions. As we in the family of God demonstrate our love for each other, even as Jesus demonstrated his love for us, others will "know we are his disciples." Our love for one another can help draw them to the perfect love of Jesus.
Lord, help me to love others in the way you love me. Help me to love unconditionally. Help me to demonstrate my love with action—even when I don't feel like it. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. Thank you for demonstrating your love in such marvelous ways. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from …
Understanding Depression: Overcoming Despair through Christ by Donald G. Miles, Ed.D. This study deals with depression, a condition common throughout the world, and is suggested for use in support groups and Christian counseling.
Understanding what depression is and how it affects relationships
Understanding the relationship between depression and spiritual warfare
Ways to fight depression with scripture, prayer and mutual support
Understanding the special prayer needs of depressed persons
How to pray for healing and what to expect
Serves as a powerful evangelistic tool by providing a way to minister to people's felt needs and then lead them to Christ
Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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