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What is love?

And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. If you have love for one another, then everyone will know that you are my disciples.

For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its saviour.

John 13 : 34 - 35 and John 3 : 16 - 17 (GNB)

I am sure you are familiar with the command to "Love your neighbour as you love yourself". Today's passage takes this one step further, telling us not only to love other people as much as we love ourselves, but to love others as much as Jesus loves us.

From a first glance this might only seem like a subtle change, after all it is only substituting a couple of words. However these few words make a phenomenal difference. To truly appreciate the significance of this difference we first need to think about how much Jesus loves us. Only once we know this can we even start to think about how we should love others.

Love can be a very vague word, you might say you "love cake" or you "love going to the cinema" when what you really mean is you like these things. The love Jesus is referring to is far bigger than this. As we can see from our second quote Jesus (Gods' Son) loves us so much that he was willing to die on our behalf. I think we can all agree that this shows the true extent of the love that Jesus is referring to.

Our love and compassion for one and other is intended to be limitless. In our self-centred world this seems alien, but this is what God intended. God wants us to be a people who go out of their way to show love and care to anyone and everyone. This demonstration of 'alien' love should be the way that others know that you are a Christian. Not because of what you say or your profile on social media. Have a great week.

This week's song is Love does by Brandon Heath.

Header image by: eek the cat via Flickr