Inspiring Devotionals
"A New Commandment"

"A New Commandment" (1)
"I give you a new one another." John 13:34 NRSV

This "new commandment" Jesus gave is truly amazing when you consider its historical background:

First, there was the law of revenge. Before Moses, the law of the land was the law of the jungle. It said: "If you hurt me I'll hurt you - and then some!" Enemies actively sought ways to settle old scores because revenge wasn't just acceptable - it was encouraged.

Next, there was the law of retribution. In Moses' time revenge was replaced with retribution which allowed "an eye for eye, and a tooth for tooth" but no more. (See Ex 20:25). You could do to your enemies only what they'd done to you. Nowadays that sounds harsh, but back then it was major progress!

Now, there's the law of love. When Jesus said: "I give you a new one another," it was a radically different approach. It meant you didn't have to get even, you could choose to forgive instead. This new commandment demonstrates the unconditional, sacrificial love God shows to us - then calls us to live the same way!

Here's how one class of high-school students demonstrated this law of love! When their buddy was undergoing chemotherapy and losing his hair, they showed their love and support by shaving their heads so he wouldn't be embarrassed about returning to class. A local newspaper photographed them with their bald heads, under a headline which read: "Everything We Do, We Do Together." That's the kind of love Jesus was talking about when He said: "Everyone will know that you are my disciples, if another" (John 13:35 NRSV).

"A New Commandment" (2)
"I give you a new one another." John 13:34 NRSV

Some years ago General Omar Bradley made a business trip on a commercial airline, wearing a regular suit instead of his military uniform. When he reached his seat he started doing some paperwork. As it turned out, the man seated next to him was a young army private who didn't recognize Bradley. So after take-off he turned to the General and said: "Since we're going to be together for a while, it would be nice if we got to know each other. My guess is that you're a banker." Not wishing to seem rude but needing to finish his work, Bradley replied: "No, I'm General Omar Bradley, a five-star general in the US Army. I head up the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon in Washington, DC." Without missing a beat the young private replied: "Well, sir, that's a very important job. I sure hope you don't blow it!"

Your job is to love - don't blow it! God's love is the most powerful force the world's ever seen, and it's up to us to carry the torch and keep it burning! The Bible says: "Clothe yourselves with tender-hearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience...[But] the most you must wear is love. [It]...binds us all together in perfect harmony" (Co 3:12-14 NLT). It's nice to quote scriptures, pray long articulate prayers, study theology and attend church, but only when people see your love, will they be impacted by your life. Love, not words, is the real test of your discipleship!

Christian Devotionals

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