Last week we began a message on learning how to love everyone, including hard to love people, in the same way that Jesus loves us. I believe the one thing we would all admit is that there are people in this world who it would be very difficult to love as Jesus loves them, but that is what we have been commanded to do.
What does it mean to love someone in the same way that Jesus loves them? Does it mean that you are best friends, that you socialize with them, that you are going up to them hugging and kissing them all of the time? How did Jesus treat the Pharisees, or the Romans who crucified Him? Did He love them? Yes, He died on a cross for them. How did He treat the one who betrayed Him? Jesus washed his feet. He reached out to him in love. Why? To give him an opportunity to make Jesus his Lord and Savior.
I want you to think carefully about that, and I want this thought in your mind. How did Jesus show the entire world that He loved them? Jesus died on the cross for the sins of everyone. Why did He do that? So, their sins could be forgiven, and they could choose to receive the free gift of salvation. Without the Lord’s shed blood, then no one could be saved, no one would have a choice to be saved.
How can you go about offering people, even hard to love people, the same gift that Jesus offered them? Can you die on a cross for them? No. Can you witness about the gospel message of Jesus Christ to them? Yes. Can you live a life that would be different enough to make them want to be a Christian? Yes.
Jesus loved everyone so much, even hard to love people like Judas, or Pilate, or the Romans who beat Him, that He died so that they could be saved. Can you love others enough to offer them the gospel message so that they could be saved? If yes, then would that be one way that you could love them in the same way that Jesus does? Don’t misunderstand me, this is not all there is to this commandment, and we are going to talk about what type of love this is, but we need to put this into the context of why we, as believers, are even still on this earth. The reality is that once you are saved, you cannot be unsaved. So, why does God leave us here on the earth? Why not just take us to heaven right away? What is a key element in His plan for your life? Spreading the gospel message to a lost world, an ugly world, an evil world, a hard to love world. That is how Jesus loved the entire world, and it is one way that you can love others as Jesus has loved you.
Jesus said, a new commandment I give unto you that you love one another even as I have loved you. It is only men and women who are big in the grace of God, knowing that they have come from God, knowing that they're going to God, knowing who they are, that can obey this new commandment. They can do it because they tell themselves, God has accepted me. I accept that he accepts me, I accept me, and I accept you, and now you can accept me.
What does this type of love look like?
• You love them enough to lead them to Christ.
• You love them enough to not think of yourself as you are dealing with them.
• You love them enough to stand by them in the hard times.
• You love them enough to serve them.
• Most of all, you love them enough to forgive them.
Click on the link below to hear a message on how to love people as Jesus loved them. It is pride that drives wedges between people. It is a love like Christ’s love that builds bridges. “A new commandment I give unto you that you love one another, even as I have loved you.” That's how to love as Jesus loved.