January 15, 2015

Something New: Love

John 13:1-17, 34-35

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

—  John 13:34

It may seem odd to refer to love as something new because we live in a world saturated with references to love. "Love" features prominently in books, music, and movies. It is a part of countless myths and fairy tales of ages past. It seems anything but new.

But the love we speak of in this world is a love that wears out. Friendships crumble. Argu­ments and apathy tear mar­riages apart. Quarrels divide families. Perhaps you are living in the reality of a tired love even as you read this.

When Jesus came into this world, he came to show us the full extent of God's love. The disciples, rushing to get the best seats as they came to share a meal with Jesus (see Luke 22:24), had overlooked the courtesy of washing their feet on the way in. That was dirty work, slave's work. They judged it to be beneath them—but it was not beneath the Son of God.

God's love has the power to endure our insults, our rebellion, and all the rest of our sin. He does not turn away from us, but goes all the way to the cross for us. Jesus cleanses our souls as well as our bodies. We are clean! God has poured his love out for us in a new way, a way that does not quit, and he empowers us to do the same.

Have you experienced God's love?

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for showing us love in a new way. Thank you for dying so that we can be cleansed from sin. Help us to love others as you have loved us. Amen.

About the author — Joel Vande Werken

Joel Vande Werken has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have five young children.

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