At the core of God’s identity is a community; an intimate fellowship. The Father loves the Son and the Son loves the Father; and out of that embrace of love comes the Holy Spirit as the breath of life.
The image of God as a Triune God or the Trinity is not something we can completely wrap our heads around, but it does give us the primary context in which to journey with God and others. And that context is relational!
So when Jesus is questioned about what commandment is most important He responds with love God and love others. (Matthew 22)
Elsewhere, Jesus said:
Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. ~ John 13:34
But what does it really look like to love like Jesus?
To love like Jesus is to actively participate in what is best for another person even at great personal sacrifice and even when they don’t deserve it.
We understand the part about actively participate. And we understand personal sacrifice as a part of it. But loving others when they don’t deserve it causes us some struggle.
And yet, that’s how Jesus loves. Listen to how Paul states it in his letter to the followers of Jesus in Rome.
6-8 Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him. ~ Romans 5:6-8 (MSG)
We might be able to think of a few people – likely family members or close friends – that we would love like this but that’s not really the point. To love like Jesus is to love everyone this way.
As we come to “know and rely on the love God has for us” (1 John 4:16) we will be transformed and empowered to love like Jesus.
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.