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Nov 26

Love One Another

Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35) And “this is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. (1 John 3:16)

At church, as a youth fellowship, we like to think ourselves friendly and welcoming, non-judgemental and compassionate, and that our gatherings are fun but meaningful. Other people comment on how blessed we are, that everyone is friends with each other and we all get along so well as a group. But do our friendships within our Youth reflect the depth of love and intimacy that Christ willed for our relationships between each other? Or do we feel that our friendships might be more superficial? Do we know the needs of the person we sit next to? the person across the hall? our fellowship as a whole? We won’t know unless we care to find out. Otherwise, how can we sacrifice for each other and truly love one another?

This love, the same love that brought Jesus Christ to die for our sins, should be how we love others. Not just for other people at Youth, not just for other Christians, but for everyone, as we are all made in the image of God. In doing so, everyone should be able to identify us as Christians. So, how well do we extend this love to first-timers or newcomers to our fellowship? or to those who attend irregularly? When was the last time you talked to the young kid who sits alone and is only there because the parents made him go? Or when was the last time you contacted someone to encourage them to come to church? When was the last time you went out of your way to meet up with someone who might be in need of Christ’s love? Do we only ‘love’ those who are like us, that we find easy to get along with? Is our friendliness and welcoming sufficient to clearly point people to Christ?

It is often preferable or comfortable for us to keep a certain detachment within our relationships. But God was willing to pay the greatest cost in order for us to have a loving and intimate relationship with Him. In loving God and following his commands, we must live this same unconditional love to others. It is the very core mark of a disciple of Jesus.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. And He has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. (1 John 4:7, 11, 21) Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:18)

-Steph Lim