Love – The Greatest Gift

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, December 25, 2016 0 comments

by Ami Samuels

As Christmas is now here, we have bustled around searching for the perfect gifts for our families and friends. We spent countless hours shopping and wrapping gifts. Thinking about this process led me to a scripture in Matthew, and the fact that the greatest gift we can give is love!

In Matthew 22:36 Jesus is asked, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied (verses 37-39), “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

To be honest when first reading this scripture, it wasn’t very convicting for me. I have struggled with loving myself, and if how much I loved myself was the measuring stick for my love for others, well, that wasn’t a huge requirement.

But recently, God made this clearer to me about how we are supposed to love others. I was reading in John 15. Like many of you, I have studied this particular passage several times. That is one of the amazing things about studying God’s Word: he reveals new things to us all of the time.

In John 15:1-2 it says, “I am the true vine, and my father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes.” In verses 4-5 it says, “Remain in me and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Unless we are in an ongoing relationship with Jesus it says we can do nothing. Apart from him we can do nothing!

Picking up in verse 9: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” Reading this I began to question, how do I remain in God’s love? But as I read on in verse 10 I found the answer: “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.”

Verse 12 goes on to say, “My command is this: Love others as I have loved you.” This was an AHA moment – we are supposed to Love others as Jesus loves us! Jesus loves us UNCONDITIONALLY! He doesn’t wait to love us WHEN we are smarter, thinner, when we get a promotion, or a degree. He loves us right where we are! He loves us unconditionally, not when but now!

So as we celebrate this holiday season and Jesus’ birth today, my encouragement is for us to LOVE OTHERS AS JESUS LOVES US! Remember, the greatest gift of all is LOVE.

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