THE STANDARD FOR OUR LIVES
“As the Father has loved Me, so I have loved you; continue in My love. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you”, John 15:9,12
There are standards by which we can measure love. The Law of God measures it by its holy standards, how much it spends and gives away; we may measure it by the amount we receive. We may never hinder it from coming to us, for it is a set standard of just how much we are to love our neighbor as well. We cannot love our neighbor with it so to say, as we receive, but as what we receive.
Most people find it difficult to love their neighbor as themselves, according to the same standard of love and accommodation it is able to bare in inner expectancy for self. Nonetheless, my heart today crimped in some kind of holy agony because I always wished to love as God does. As I started to read this piece of Scripture I instantly knew God was talking to me and I also knew towards what He was heading to. The words “love as you love yourself” were in my mind right from the start and I knew, when I read the words “as My father has loved Me, so I have loved you”, that the words “as I have loved you, you love one another” were coming. I just sensed they were the end of the revelation.
If the holy standard of love towards our neighbor set in the law of God is something thought of as unattainable, just imagine how it will be to love our neighbor as Jesus loves us and as the Father loved Him. I was happy about this word, for I needed to hear it, I kind of expected it so, and my heart was burning towards it all. If it didn’t come, I guess I would be disappointed, thinking to have been misled somehow. But then, as I thought eagerly how the Father had loved Jesus, I had the whole picture opened up to my heart’s perception even before I had it fully read the words “that you love one another as I have loved you”. I love my neighbor, and I believe I love them as myself. Yet, it seems here is a new standard of love I have never been aware of till now. It seems it says that the amount of love I receive from the Father (which is the amount of love towards me) is the amount I have and need to have ready towards my neighbor just as well.
Then my mind went deep into how Jesus had been loved by the Father. I couldn’t think more without saying, “Lord, how shall I love that way?” And the words “If you abide in Me” would constantly, one time after another, kind of jump out of Scripture towards my inner eyes. And I realized, then, God was speaking to me all along as I was trembling in holy agony within: I knew God was commanding me, even before I came to the words, "I have spoken these things to you", John 15:11. These words were like a dagger holding a written message to the door of my heart: I have to love people as Jesus loves me. I cannot write down all things which came into my mind about this and the burning way it came, for they are impossible to write down and they have to be perceived through an eye focused on Jesus. If not so, one might look into this commandment as a discouragement rather than a promise. I could see that it was me that was to love people and not merely Jesus through me as many people uphold in Christian circles around the world. Yet, I couldn’t help it, but getting a clear picture of how this love is to grow into full maturity and into a spontaneous, calm living – as constant as eternity, without ups and downs.
Did you think to love your neighbor as you love yourself was hard? Try loving them, all of them without exception, as Jesus was loved by the Father, as you are loved my Him. The amount of love you are loved with by God and the kind of it is the precise measurement with which you can and may measure your whole living standards by. It is kind of enjoying a hundred and being fully able to give another hundred away yourself. Let’s abide in God and ask two hundred from Him: one hundred to share, the other to magnify God through. Amen.