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A Special Divine Mandate: Love One Another

1 John 4:7-8

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.


Beloved brothers and sisters, this message is a powerful reminder of God's greatest commandment - the Divine Mandate to Love One Another. As we delve into the Holy Scriptures, we look at the book of John 13:34. Here our Lord Jesus Christ says, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."


What does this divine mandate mean? Why is love so important in our Christian journey? To understand this, we must first comprehend the nature of God for, as 1 John 4:8 tells us - God is love. And as His children and followers, we are called to reflect this love to others.


Love is the very essence of our faith. It is the cornerstone upon which our beliefs, actions, and practices ought to be cemented. It is not just a feeling, but an action, a commitment, a choice. True love, the kind reflected by Jesus during His time on earth, is selfless, sacrificial, and unending.


Sadly, in this fast-paced and chaotic world, showing love to one another has become more of a task than a natural expression of our faith. It has become all too easy to forget to show love to our family, friends, and even those we encounter in our day-to-day lives. Our own problems, worries, and desires often consume us, and we can forget that we are purveyors of God's love.


But brethren, we are reminded in Galatians 5:14, "For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: "Love your neighbour as yourself." Love is not an option for us believers but a commandment from our Lord.


How then do we actualise this kind of love? It begins with an intimate relationship with God. When we wholeheartedly receive the love of Christ and experience His unconditional love, we cannot help but overflow with the same love towards others. It is from this foundation that we can love others with a Christ-like love - with kindness, patience, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control.


Jesus details the ultimate love in John 15:13: There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends. Sacrificing for others is the greatest act of love, be it time, resources, finance or even our very lives. As loving parents give everything they can to benefit their child, so should we to others.


This does not extend only to loving those who love us (Matthew 5:46), for example, our families, blood and spiritual (though this is very important – 1 Timothy 5:8), we must also provide for the least in society (Matthew 25:40) and a uniquely Christian thing: we are called to love even our enemies (Luke 6:27). When on the cross, our Lord Jesus prayed for His persecutors to be forgiven.


Never underestimate the transformative power of love, dear ones. It can break walls, heal wounds, unite those divided, and most definitely change the world. Every time you offer someone your love - be it a kind word, a listening ear, a warm meal, a helping hand - you are painting a picture of Jesus and His love.


Today, I challenge each one of you to intentionally show love to those around you. Remember, we are called to love not only those who love us, but even those who do not. In the very words of our Saviour, "But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked." Luke 6:35


May we all strive to live by the divine mandate of love. Let the love of God in us inspire others to seek Him and know Him. Let our lives be the light that shines brightly in this world, reflecting the perfect love of our Heavenly Father. May the good Lord bless you, keep you, and fill your heart with His divine love. Go, and reflect heaven on earth with your acts of love, for truly, love is the greatest of these.