"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34-35 NIV)
Are there times when you feel that God is asking too much of you? I know that I have felt that way. I think of the saying that God never gives us more than we can bear and I wonder, “God are you watching here?” I wonder what God expects of me.
I think of all the things I see other folks doing, going to church, being involved in missions and Bible studies. I see folks doing things for God, and to be honest, sometimes I feel like a failure. I wonder if God views me as a failure. Then, I think of this verse. I realize that God really only asks one thing of me.
“Love one another.” All He asks of me is that I love. He does not ask me to do anything I am not capable of doing. He does not ask that I go to church, though I know He would want me to if I could. He does not ask me to participate in Bible Studies that I cannot go to, although I know He’d be pleased (and I’d be pleased) if I could.
He does not ask me to do a single thing other than to love others. He has given me my mission field, and my mission. To love. To simply love each person I come in contact with.
Uh, oh. Each person? I am to show love to each person? Maybe this is not as easy as it sounds. But I continue to read “As I have loved you …” I don’t know about you, but I was not a particularly lovable person before Christ entered my life. I was selfish and self-centered. My needs usually came first. It wasn’t until God allowed me to see others through His eyes that I began to understand. He loved me as I was, and that love drew me to Him.
So, in spite of being homebound, in spite of pain, in spite of little or no energy or ability to do a lot of things for myself that I used to do, I can still obey His commands. I can show love to those around me. And I can do this because He first loved me.
Father God, thank you that your commandment is simple. It becomes easy to love when I realize it is all you truly ask of me. I can love because I know Your love. I can love because I know You. I can love because I know it is honoring to You to do so. And during the times I find it difficult to obey this commandment, please help me to remember that You loved me, even before I was born. You loved me enough to die for me on the cross to make this love possible. Amen and Amen, So be it, Lord!