March 15. 2023

A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you also must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.”- John 13:34-35 BSB

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said, “See, this is new”? It has been already in the ages before us. There is no remembrance of former things nor will there be any remembrance of later things yet to be among those who come after. (Ecclesiastes 1:9-11) “There’s nothing new under the sun” is an idiom, or a proverb! It’s meaning is simple, there is nothing in the world that has not already happened, been seen, or been created; things exist now as they always have. Sometimes used for hyperbolic effect. As a modern idiom, “there’s nothing new under the sun” is often used as a world-weary complaint against life’s monotony. When Solomon wrote the statement, he was emphasizing the cyclic nature of human life on earth and the emptiness of living only for the “rat race.” Even the news seems like the same old stuff, just regurgitated with different names, different faces, but the same content; hate, resentment, bitterness, strife…. record keeping and POUND OF FLESH, taking! Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

Leader, the purpose of the book of Ecclesiastes is to spare future generations the suffering and misery of seeking after foolish, meaningless, materialistic emptiness, and to offer wisdom by discovering truth in seeking after God. Learn religion dot com, states that the main theme of Ecclesiastes is humanity’s fruitless search for contentment. Solomon’s sub-themes are that contentment cannot be found in human endeavors or material things, while wisdom and knowledge leave too many unanswered questions. This leads to a sense of hollowness. Meaning in life can be found only in a right relationship with God. With its dire warnings and record of futility, Ecclesiastes could be a depressing book, except for its exhortation that true happiness can be found only in God. Written ten centuries before the birth of Jesus Christ, the book of Ecclesiastes urges today’s Christians to seek God first if they want to find purpose in their life. Jesus told us that there is only one way to the Father and that is through Him, the Son. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also.” (John 14:6-7) And in another letter John connected KNOWING, with DOING. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. (1 John 2:3-6)

Conduit, the kind of love described in this new commandment was so essential, Jesus used it as a sign of His true disciples: “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” The fact is, the command “that you love one another” was nothing new in New Testament times. The Old Testament used similar words in the commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself.” This was an ancient commandment even at the time of Jesus Christ. It says, “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:18). In Jesus Christ’s new command, the significant words are “as I have loved you.” Christ’s command to love “as I have loved you” is the “new commandment.” This depth of love takes the Christian to a whole new way of expressing love for others. The love that Jesus Christ had and continues to have for His followers is infinitely more profound than the love expressed in “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” When Christians express love toward others, it should not be just as we love ourselves, but as Christ loves us. Putting into practice His “as I have loved you” kind of love, Jesus Christ willingly paid the price for our sins. As He explained, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13). In John 14:6 Jesus was saying, “WATCH ME, MATCH ME.” Jesus told us to watch Him and do what He does. This type of love is called AGAPE, unconditional, Godly love. We cannot do this in our own strength, we must die to ourselves daily and ask GOD to LIVE and LOVE through us! Love is NOT a noun, or a feeling, it is a verb. A verb is an action word, and most verbs require effort! For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. God is telling us, “For you so love me, that you do for others, what is against your nature.” This is why it requires that we must be BORN AGAIN! Let us pray to God, that today, HE will LOVE OTHERS through us, as HE has loved us! Lord, you know my flesh is weak, but my Spirit is willing. Lord, help me with my unbelief. Amen!


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