“The love of Jesus is a picture of humility, by serving in a way that shows us the way up is down.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 30, 2021
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
The Christian brand is love. Period. The greatest command to love is not optional, but essential. Perhaps it’s time for followers of Jesus to have a brand refresh, back to our original essence.
The early church father Tertullian wrote, “It is mainly the deeds of a love so noble that lead many to put a brand upon us. See how they love one another, they say.”
Clearly to those outside of the early church the Christian brand was love! I have to honestly ask myself of the church today and of myself, as followers of Jesus—Are we on brand? Is our brand promise love and do those outside of the church say, I do not believe what they believe, but I do believe they believe love is the reason for who they are and what they do!
Now Tertullian wrote during a time period of severe persecution for Christians, so there were not too many casual Christians, or cultural Christians, who only believed for the personal benefits. Death was the ultimate outcome for those who held fast to their faith, not drifting back and forth with the winds of acceptance and approval from society. But, the theme of love remained steady for all who followed the One who issued the radical new command to love like He loved.
The love of Jesus is a picture of humility, by serving in a way that shows us the way up is down. As Paul explained, Jesus Christ emptied Himself and took on the form of a servant:
“Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, as He already existed in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself by taking the form of a bond-servant and being born in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:4-7).
Are you on brand as a follower of Jesus? Are you marked by love in your attitude and actions? If so, others will know you are a disciple of Jesus by how you love like Jesus. Especially how you love well when you are stressed out or frustrated. When you are tempted to react defensively (even when feeling justified)—pause, pray and wait for the love of God to fill your heart with peace and your mind with empathy. Let love lead your words and actions! Charles Spurgeon said it so well:
I am to love my fellow Christians even as Jesus Christ, who died for me, has loved me. This is a nobler kind of love altogether to the love which we are to manifest to our neighbors. That is the love of benevolence, but this is a love of affinity and close relationship, and involves a higher degree of self-sacrifice than was enjoined by the law of Moses.
Heavenly Father, keep me on brand to love by your love, through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name, amen.
Who do I need to talk with face to face in love instead of talking about them in anger?
Lakewood Music/Kim Walker-Smith: In the Name
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