God loves you. God loves me.
God loves every single person. Even those who do not love Him in return. One very important key to walking a victorious life and breaking the chains of defeat is that it isn’t about our love for Him. We need to stop wasting our time trying to love Him enough. We will never be able to love Him as much as He loves us. Please don’t mistake what I’m saying. Yes, we should love God – with all of our hearts.
But don’t get caught up in the internal battle between your heart and your mind. The battle that sounds something like this: “If I loved God like I say I do, I wouldn’t have talked badly about that person. I must not love Him.” I’m sure you’ve done this to yourself.
Friends, let me help you get your mind and heart right about God’s love. It is HIS LOVE FOR US that we need to meditate upon. It is HIS LOVE FOR US that we need to get planted deep into our hearts. Let’s look at Scripture to help explain what I’m saying.
Jesus and the disciples share the Last Supper.
18 “I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.’ 19 Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He. 20 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”
21 When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.” 22 Then the disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom He spoke.
23 Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. 24 Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask who it was of whom He spoke.
25 Then, leaning back on Jesus’ breast, he said to Him, “Lord, who is it?”
26 Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it.” And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. 27 Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” 28 But no one at the table knew for what reason He said this to him. 29 For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus had said to him, “Buy those things we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor.
30 Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately. And it was night.
31 So, when he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him. 32 If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and glorify Him immediately. 33 Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come,’ so now I say to you. 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
36 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?”
Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward.”
37 Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake.”
38 Jesus answered him, “Will you lay down your life for My sake? Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times.
John 13:21-38 (NKJV)
I used the New King James Version because it best illustrates the point I want to make. Jesus knows what is coming. He knows that Judas is going to betray Him and that His death is soon. He is having one last supper with these men He so dearly loved.
Let’s look at verse 23 and 25. Verse 23 reads, “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.” And verse 25, “Then, leaning back on Jesus’ breast, he said to Him, “Lord, who is it?”
The “disciple whom Jesus loved” is John himself.
John is writing this book and is referring to himself in the third person. John rested against Jesus’ breast because he knew how very special the love of Christ was and he was soaking it in. He wasn’t wasting precious time trying to show Jesus how much he loved Him.
Now let’s look at one of the other disciples – Peter. In verse 37, Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake.” He was so distraught at the thought that Jesus was leaving him. There is a key difference between John and Peter in this Scripture. That difference is where their focus was.
John’s focus was turned to Jesus. Peter’s focus was turned to himself. Peter is trying to prove to Jesus just how much he loves Him. John wasn’t trying to prove his love for Jesus because he knew it was not what was important.
What is important is Jesus’ great love for us.
I sympathize with Peter. He truly loved Jesus but he was too focused on his love and this is why he failed. Not once but three times. This is a very important lesson that Jesus is teaching us. Nestled in the middle of these verses above, Jesus gives us the greatest command of all.
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
It seems that it is just stuck in among these other verses but Jesus is very intentional about the placement of this command. He is showing us that we have His love within us and He expects us to share that love with others.
His words “as I have loved you” is critical to understanding this command.
This is the third post of the series “Setting the Captives Free” (click to read the first post in this series). We will continue to explore how we can move from living a defeated life to a victorious life in the next week as we cover the remaining three keys:
- Knowing God (click to read this post about Knowing God).
- Knowing God’s great love for us.
- Knowing and understanding the finished work of the cross.
- Knowing who we are in Jesus
- Knowning our assignment.
When we begin to understand that it is not about us, but rather it is always about Jesus, we can have a victorious life. Because it is not dependent on us, we cannot fail. It is dependent upon Jesus and He will never fail! He did all the work and all He wants us to do is recline upon His breast and soak in His love. As we do this, we are filled to the point where we can’t help but overflow on those around us. It’s the beauty of His ways.
Here is my prayer for all of us today:
Thank You for this great day. Thank You for Jesus and His great love for us. Thank You for Your great love for us. Help each of us to not only soak in that love but to also be filled with the love so that we can overflow to those around us. Fill us so we can fill others. Fill others so they can fill us. Your ways are so perfect! Thank You for Your ways being so much higher than our ways.
We praise You for taking us deeper into who You are. Deeper into who You created each of us to be. Use us in mighty ways to show Your love to the hurting and oppressed around us. Use us to show love and light to those in darkness. Thank You for giving each of us a role in Your kingdom. All glory and praise goes to You.
In Jesus’ great name we pray.
Stay in the Light and the Love Always,