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Day 16 – Thursday 20th March 2014

Week 3: Receive Jesus’ Kingdom: REVIVAL and TRANSFORMATION through Us – His Church

By Pastor Peter McHugh, Melbourne, Victoria
Spheres of Influence: Religion – advancing Jesus’ kingdom

 

Intention: We Guard and Practice Jesus’ Command to Love One Another!

Biblical Promise: John 13:34–35 – “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Receive God’s Promises as His Church:
Matthew 28:18–20 establishes disciple-making as a key to Kingdom advancement. Jesus instructs us to teach disciples to observe/obey all that I command you (v20). To observe/obey comes from the Greek meaning: to guard from loss by keeping the eye upon.

While Jesus quoted Old Testament commandments and pointed to the two great commandments, He also gave His own commandment. John 13:34 – “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” John 15:12 – “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.” John 15:17 – “This I command you, that you love one another.” When Jesus calls us to obey/observe all that He commanded us, He is calling all of us to guard and keep our eye on loving one another.

Loving one another is a core commitment of authentic Christianity. The New Testament writers guarded this commandment (1 John 3:23) and kept their eye on it (Colossians 1:3–4; Galatians 5: 6; Hebrews 10:22–24) as a sign of authentic Christianity. Unfortunately the early church fathers neither guarded nor kept their eye on loving one another in their debates over doctrine to establish orthodoxy. Nowhere in the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Heidelberg Catechism or the Westminster Confession is loving one another mentioned.

To love one another is to love God (John 14:23, 1 John 4:20–21). We are to love one another, as Jesus has loved us. We lay down our lives (John 15:13) by laying down our right to be right; our accusations, criticisms and judgment to prove I am right; our defensive stance and tendency to let ‘task’ define relationships rather than God’s heart for others. We are to help one another be all we are called to be. We need to have self-awareness in order to evaluate ourselves according to how we love (1 Corinthians 13:4–7, Colossians 3:12–14). Our yardstick of success is John 13:35 – “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Pray for REVIVAL and TRANSFORMATION:
Lord, help me to discover and understand Your infinite love for me so that I can ‘love well.’ Lord, I need grace and courage to consistently guard and keep my eye on Your commandment to “love one another.” Thank you for Your declaration of the Australasian region as the Great South Land of the Holy Spirit. Stir the people of God to rediscover the power of loving one another for the sake of those yet to believe.

Activate God’s Promises as His Church:
Seek out someone with whom you have a broken relationship and offer to begin the journey to find love for one another by learning to love as Jesus loves.

Peter McHugh
Team Leader Stairway Church Whitehorse
www.stairway.org.au

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • sue 25/03/2014, 3:59 pm

    Our apologies -there has been a problem sending out today’s devotion. I am glad you have found this site. You will receive a personal copy as soon as possible.
    Sue Tinworth

  • sue 24/03/2014, 6:58 pm

    Matthias Leopold commented that the ‘Heidelberger Catechism’ asks on page 14: What does God’s law demand us to do? “And clearly answers (as Matthew 22), “you should love God……you should love the next like yourself.” Matthias refers us to the pdf of the original print (in German) from 1563 which can be downloaded free via the library of the University of Heidelberg at: http://www.heidelberger-katechismus.net/8476-0-227-50.html
    We celebrate that loving one another is mentioned here and happily stand corrected on this point. The comment has given our author the opportunity to emphasise the distinction he was making – that the creeds do not reference John 13:33-34 and John 15:12 & 17 as the Lord’s ‘new’ and personal commandment. Why was it a ‘new’ commandment when at first glance it looks like the two great commandments? Simply put – Jesus commands us to discover how much He loves us – so HIs love is our basis and source for loving others. This link has never appeared before. The two great commandments rested on discipline. But the new command is to love and live from revelation and encounter with Jesus! Thanks Mathias & Peter!

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