So it is with the subject, ‘loving others,’– or perhaps better, ‘loving others as Jesus loves us.’ A preacher can go anywhere with the subject of loving others.
They can develop a terrific legalistic sermon that can bury individuals under piles of religious rules! And have you seriously contemplated loving others as Jesus loves us? That was Eve’s temptation in the Garden of Eden: “You shall be as God.” Thinking the preaching that we can love like God loves, approaches spiritual absurdness!
Jesus does SAY we need to love others the way he loves us (John 15:12). There is a sense in which we can at least BEGIN loving others the way Jesus loves us.
How does Jesus Love us?
Jesus accepts us as we are– no matter how bad we are. Jesus does not demand that we ‘clean up our act’ before he loves us.
All of us need to alter! Not one person is perfect … “No, not one.”
If you question whether you need to change or not, simply ask who is close to you. We ALL should change! But it is not demands, expectancies, or condemnation that changes us. God’s love changes us — by NOT imposing demands and expectancies upon us!
If we do not experience God’s love and approval, we feel he is requiring and vital. Frequently we live by a kind of ‘reverse principle’– we do unto others as we view God does it unto us. If we do not understand his love, then we feel he is requiring. If we feel HE is requiring, then we are requiring.
Isn’t it true that “Children live what they learn”?
Are you willing to accept those near to you the method Jesus accepts us– without any strings connected? It’s hard to let go of our needs and expectations, but this IS what God does for us. This IS loving others as Jesus enjoys us.