November 01, 2017

The Ultimate Command

John 13:34-35

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.

—  Romans 13:8

My wife and I had a decision to make about our family car. Did we need a new one or a “gently used” one, or should we repair our faithful but tired sedan? For us as aging pensioners, was it time for a model that would be easier to get in and out of? We also considered options such as heated seats, a navigation system, and a host of add-ons with price tags attached. Models, options, and whopping prices—what a dilemma!

In comparison, let’s consider what options we have for living as followers of Jesus Christ. In the Christian life, what is nice to include but not really necessary? And what, like the steering wheel on a car, is absolutely essential? When we lived in California, air conditioning was necessary. Could following God’s commands be similarly regionalized and culturally adapted? Christ’s command to his disciples the last time he ate with them is clear: “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

The apostle Paul describes that love in some detail in 1 Corinthians 13, where we read, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. . . . Love . . . always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

This month let’s look into some more specifics of Jesus’ command to “love one another.”

Lord Jesus, empower us by your Spirit to live with love in all our relationships, to the glory of God. May we honor you each day. Amen.

About the author — George Vink

Pastor George Vink has served as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church for more than 30 years in British Columbia, Montana, Michigan, and California. He and his wife, Shirley, have four married sons and nine grandchildren.

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