Before we list the ten ways we can love like Jesus and reflect His love, let’s remember that in the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord, God’s love –the greatest love of all — was magnified, justified, and glorified.
God’s sacrificial love was put on display in the cross of Christ.
John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
God’s abundant love is both true and righteous and through faith in Jesus we are made worthy of the love He so graciously gives.
Rom 3:24-26 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
God’s glorious love is grounded in the glory of His Person, in the glory of the Godhead — Father, Son, and Spirit. All three participated in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus (Read: What are the Individual Works of the Father, Son, and Spirit in Redemption?).
John 17:4-5 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
The Magnificent and Glorious Love of the Cross
Hearts are seen everywhere. They’re on Valentine’s and other greeting cards, gift decor items and decorations for weddings, anniversaries and baby showers. And everyone loves the heart emoji. Sometimes hearts are pink, blue, or another color, but most often hearts are red. And they’re used to symbolize love.
As Christians, a red heart should not be our way of depicting love because we understand that true love is from God. And God’s love is best represented in the cross of Christ. A heart is simply a human organ and it will stop beating and people do stop loving. Jesus’ love is unending and unfailing. He will never die and He will never stop loving us. The cross also reminds us that true love comes from God (John 3:16) and that “we love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
The True Love of God
The love of God is the truest and purest of love. It is the agape love that we can only try to express to others (Read Is All Love Created Equal? 4 kinds of love). Because God IS love, His love flows freely, naturally, and without limit. God is not capable of not loving. Human love is a choice. We choose to accept or reject, to forgive or condemn, to love or hate. And, as Christians, we have the choice daily to surrender to the power of God’s love living in us, or to walk in the flesh (the spirit of man) that opposes God’s will and His ways.
We can train ourselves to choose love by immersing ourselves in God’s Word. The apostle Peter reminds us to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ…” (2 Pet 3:18). So what did Jesus teach us about love?
Mat 22:37-39 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love one for another.
Jesus said that His command to love one another was a new commandment. In the Old Testament (Lev 19:18) and during Jesus’ ministry (Mat 19:19, Mat 22:39, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27), the people were told to love their neighbor as they loved themselves. But in the Upper Room, on the night in which He was betrayed, Jesus elevated that commandment. Jesus had taught them by example how to love others, and He commanded, “love one another, as I have loved you…” In God’s Word, we find instruction, admonition, and encouragement to love like Jesus loves us.
10 Ways to Love Like Jesus
- Speak without accusing: James 1:19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.
- Listen without interrupting: Prov 18:13 He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him.
- Answer without arguing: Prov 17:1 Better is a dry morsel with quietness, Than a house full of feasting with strife.
- Promise without forgetting: Prov 13:2 A man shall eat well by the fruit of his mouth, But the soul of the unfaithful feeds on violence.
- Forgive without punishing: Col 3:13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
- Trust without wavering: 1 Cor 13:7 [Love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
- Give without sparing: Prov 21:26 He covets greedily all day long, But the righteous gives and does not spare.
- Share without pretense: Eph 4:16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
- Enjoy without complaint: Phil 2:14 Do all things without complaining and disputing
- Pray without ceasing: Col 1:9, For this reason, we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. (1 John 4:10-11)
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- A Heart for God Revealed in St. Patrick’s Prayer
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