Jesus commanded His followers, us, to “…love one another as I have loved you”
( John 15:12).
I do not know about you, but I get exhausted at just the thought of giving, serving and loving everyone around me as Jesus did. Fortunately Jesus did not expect us to keep his command with our own resources. Instead Jesus meant for us to use God’s love within us. Also Jesus did not expect us to figure out how to do this on our own, so he provided a guide on how to direct the love of God through us.
The guide I am talking about is what I call the “love plan” and it is described by the apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians.
"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God". (Ephesians 3:16-19)
To simplify this plan I have broken the verses down into 4 steps.
- The first step, described in verse 16a, is the command for us to realize that God is the source of love. In this step we need to acknowledge God as the one and only supplier of unconditional love. As a result, we see that as humans we really can not even start to love others without God’s direction and power.
- The second step, described in verse 16b, is the command to allow the Holy Spirit to transform us into vessels worthy of holding and dispensing God’s love – from the inside out.
- The third step, described in verse 17, is the command to trust with faith that Jesus Christ can work through us and lives in each of us to do His will and guide us in His ways.
- The fourth and final step, described in verses 18 & 19, is the command to accept willingly and under God’s conditions His desire to fill us with His unending love supply.
As I look at Jesus’ command “to love one another as I have loved you” and the “love plan” Paul gave to the Ephesians, it becomes more clear that God wants us to realize the fact that we cannot give what we do not have. You see, God knows we need to be filled with His love before we can even start to love those around us. Actually, we need to be overflowing with the “fullness of God[‘s]” love. It is then, when we are filled to overflowing, that we can love freely, give compassionately, and serve without expecting anything in return – because we already have all we need from Him.
Therefore, today I leave you with this prayer: May God show you His personal plan to fill you with His love and may you be a willing vessel to be filled and poured out so that all may see the love of Christ through you. Amen