I follow because of my faith. My faith is built upon the ultimate example of love in John 3:16:
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (NIV)
Love is the cornerstone of faith and Jesus is that Cornerstone. With faith in this love, God lives in us as John tells us in 1 John 4:15-17a (NLT):
15 All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. 16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect.
I believe God lives in me. Due to this faith, I choose to obey Jesus as discussed last week. Jesus’ commands on love are very clear:
37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. ~Matthew 22:37-38 NLT
“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. ~John 15:9-12 9 NLT
When following in faith and obedience, I cannot follow without knowing, accepting and sharing His love. We love because he first loved us. Accepting this gracious gift, I attempt to love Him with all my heart, soul and mind. Then in obedience, share His love with others. Love is a two way street. Jesus reminds us why in John 13:35 (NLT):
35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
With Valentine’s Day just recently passed, we celebrated love. We love God, our families, friends and things of this world. But no one loves like Jesus. He is love. His life was a living example of love.
His love is incomprehensible. This is how the apostle Paul described God’s love in Ephesians 3:17-19 (NLT):
17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
My efforts to love are feeble at best. I fumble and stumble loving God and others, but God knows our hearts. As we attempt to love to Him and others, we are truly His Followers. The more we follow, the deeper our knowledge and love grows. We return our love to Him with all our soul, mind and heart and receive His love to share with others.
How can I love like Jesus today as His Follower? Some days are easier than others to love God and others. But since love is the essence of following, I try. Bob Goff’s book, Love Does has great ideas if you want to dig deeper on living in love.
Being His Follower, I love two ways: love God and love others. It’s as simple and as difficult as that. When stumbling or fumbling, look to Jesus. Together, let’s follow His footprints and live in love, one moment at a time.