We are able to make a difference in the lives of those we love to the same degree we allow the Lord Jesus to make a difference in us.
Meditate on these things that the Lord left on the hearts of His disciples. In John 13:34-35, the Lord says, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” He did not say, “This is a new suggestion,” or, “It would be nice if you would do this.” He said, “A new commandment I give unto you.”
Let us begin where God begins in John 3:16. The same word translated charity in I Corinthians 13 is the word translated love in John 3:16. One of these is used as a noun and the other as a verb, but it is the same word. The Bible expresses to us the love of God, saying, “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.” God so loved.
You may be thinking, “I can’t do that. I just can’t love like that.” God expects that we love like that. It is the way He loves us.
In Galatians 5, God tells us about the fruit of the Spirit. When we are born again, the Holy Spirit comes to live in us. If you have been born again, you have the Holy Spirit within you. God tells us in John 15 that the same Holy Spirit that produces fruit is the same Holy Spirit that withers the wrong things in our lives. The withering work is as vital in our lives as the fruit bearing work of the Holy Spirit.
The Bible says in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Remember, this one fruit has these nine graces, like a cluster of grapes. It is one cluster, but nine different graces are found on it.
We do not have what is necessary to do this in our own strength. I do not have what it takes to love people this way, and neither do you. It is a supernatural work that God does in and through our lives enabling us to go beyond our human ability.
If you are saying, “I cannot do this,” you are right. But God can do this through you.
It takes more than I have to do what God says I am called to do. A man called me once and he said, “I want you to say a certain thing and behave a certain way toward a certain person.” And I responded, “I must ask God to help me with that, because this particular person has done me great harm, and sometimes I think he has done it all deliberately.”
We read in the Bible, “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God” (I John 4:7). There is so much power in this verse. Look at this one part of the verse: “every one that loveth is born of God.” Everyone that is able to express this kind of love is born of God.
God says that everyone who loves like this is born of God. He goes on to say,
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. I John 4:8-10
Propitiation means covering. He sent His Son to cover our sin. It is gone and never will be remembered against us. It is removed as far as the east is from the west. If you have been born again, you will never meet your sin again because Christ met it on Calvary and paid your sin debt. When you think you cannot do “it”, think of Calvary.
God says to us, “I command you to love others as I have loved you.”
Often, we say to the Lord, “You are asking me to do a difficult thing—especially with some people.” But the more difficult it is, the deeper we must go with God, and the greater Christian we can become because of the level of dependence that is required to do it.
In all the doing, I must think of Calvary. I do not deserve God’s love. The Lord did not look down on this earth, see me, and say, “Well, there is somebody that really deserves My love.” He chose to love me. That decision in the Godhead was made toward me. If you are believing Him and trusting Him, remember, He loves us all with an everlasting love. He loves humanity. He is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9). He tasted death for every man. Think of His love!