A Crazy Love For Others
Alex Enabnit – Research Editor
There’s been a lot of love so far in this series, but today’s message is by far the most challenging. Are you up for it?
So far, we’ve discussed God’s love for us, His love for the nations, and our love for Him. But the message today is where the rubber really meets the road. Today we discussed loving others.
Right off the bat, this probably seems a bit obvious. Of course we’re supposed to love others! Isn’t that a primary message of Jesus? And even before that, the command to love others goes back to almost the beginning of the Bible. But while this topic is easy to breeze over, it’s crucial to cover because it seems to be the very topic most people either ignore or completely disregard. That’s a serious problem because if we get this one wrong, nothing else we do will matter. In fact, our love toward others is the clearest indication of the true state of our relationship with God.
In John 13 Jesus tells us a “new” command, to love one another as He has loved us. That doesn’t seem new, after all, loving God and loving others is from the Old Testament. But the nuance Jesus gives us is that our love for God is evidenced by our love for others. It’s not just “love God” and “love others” as two separate commands – Jesus tells us these are indistinguishable, and that loving others is the defining trait of His disciples. That means loving people that are difficult to love, loving people who don’t deserve it, and even loving people we don’t really like.
Okay, that’s hard in and of itself. But that’s not all.
Jesus also told us to love our enemies. Yes, that enemy. I can’t tell you who that is, what they look like, or what they believe, but you have an enemy somewhere… And Jesus says you should love them! And this love isn’t simply a “not hate” command, where you’re just supposed to be indifferent about your enemy. Jesus calls us to a love for our enemies that calls us to action.
Woah, wait a minute. Who actually does this anyway?? Well… Jesus did, as He was dying on the cross. He even forgave the people who were killing him. Now that’s crazy love.
Ending with 1 Corinthians 13, Cal read the first eight verses to show what crazy love looks like (and no, this passage isn’t only for weddings, it applies to all of us). Love – real love – looks crazy. Love is risky. Love is incredibly difficult. But when it comes to loving others, we are all called to take this risk because it is only by choosing to love the “other” that we can demonstrate we are like our Father in Heaven.
Verses and quotes from the message:
John 13:34-35; Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 5:44-48; 1 John 4:20-21; 1 Corinthians 13:1-8
“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.” G. K. Chesterton
The craziest thing about love is that you don’t really get it until you give it away.Click to tweet
You Move – Central Music
For Your Glory – Central Music
Resurrecting – Elevation Worship
How He Loves – Jesus Culture