Love, God’s way: 1

‘Since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.’ 1 John 4:11 NIV

We all know that we’re called to love other people. Jesus said that loving God and loving other people is the greatest commandment. But loving others isn’t always easy. In fact, sometimes it can be really challenging. So let’s look at how Jesus loved those closest to Him.

Most importantly, He loved them unconditionally. He loved the disciples despite their mistakes and flaws. They were human, and got things wrong. They doubted and argued. Jesus was human, but also perfect, so He didn’t let their mistakes change His love for them.

It’s the same for us. God sees everything we do, good and bad, and still loves us. There’s nothing we can do to make Him love us more, and nothing we can do to make Him love us less. We’re His children. The Bible says: ‘See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!’ (1 John 3:1 NIV) He redeems every mistake we make, because of His love for us. He forgives us and restores us. Jesus did this for Peter after he had denied knowing Him three times. Jesus asked Peter three times whether he loved Him (read about it in John 21).

We’re told that ‘since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.’ So how can we love someone the way God loves us? We can offer forgiveness when they make mistakes, and we can love them as a child of God even if we don’t like the way they’re acting. We can love them unconditionally.

SoulFood: Matt 16:13–23, Matt 26:69–75, John 21:15–19

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2020

Today’s Readings

Matthew 16:13–23 ()

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13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

Matthew 26:69–75 ()

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69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” 71 And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 And again he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man.” 73 After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you.” 74 Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

John 21:15–19 ()

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15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” 19 (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Sun 06 September, 2020


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