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My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. John 15:12

As you know, I was a project manager most of my work life. The simplest explanation for what I did was to take larger tasks and break them into smaller, more manageable tasks and assign that work to other people on the team. There was always a danger in the planning to overcomplicate the project–making more of something than what it is. More than once, I confess that I found myself going down a rabbit hole and then needed to step back to rethink the approach.

As Christians, we are sometimes guilty of the same thing. We spend so much time fighting over insignificant doctrinal differences, which political party aligns with Christianity, and deciding who is worthy of God’s love that we lose sight of the straightforwardness of God’s plan for us from the day in love he formed us from the mud. We don’t need to overcomplicate what God desires; the answer is simple: love as he loves us.

We are all equally unworthy. Only by the grace of God made flesh in Jesus Christ are we made worthy. His love was such that though sinless, he took our sins upon himself to redeem us. Despite our sinful state, Jesus sought us out, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.” (v. 16-17)

To love each other as he loves us is not a suggestion–it’s a command. It’s not negotiable; it’s an order. It’s so essential Jesus states it (v. 12) and restates it (v.17). Why should we follow his directive? First, it comes directly from God, so it carries his ultimate authority and should be obeyed unquestionably. But in our obedience, we enjoy peace in our lives, country, churches, and the world. Although it may seem impossible, we can love even in the most challenging situations when we remember God’s sacrifice made in love for us.

Father, we confess we don’t love as we should. We allow things to come between us and the love we should have. We fail to remember the great love you showed us in sending Jesus. We forget that we are sinners saved only by your grace. Help us remember your command's simplicity–to love others as you love us. By the Holy Spirit, may we shake off the sinful things that keep us from loving as we should. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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