Love is also a commandment.
“A new commandment I give to you,” (One that humans had never had before.) “that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” His life defined how this new commandment was to be fulfilled. “Even as I have loved you.”
Love is a choice. God chose to love Jacob and not Esau. (Genesis 25:23; Malachi 1:2-4; Romans 9:12-14) We can only guess God’s motives for choosing one and rejecting the other before they were born. Yet, like detectives we search the Scriptures looking for clues that become the basis of our theologies. “God is love,” (1 John 4:8) He defines love and reveals that the object of love is a matter of choice.
Our motive for choosing to love, as Jesus demonstrated and commanded, is because the Spirit has convinced us of God’s love and our need of forgiveness. Did you know that the amount of forgiveness required determines the greatness of our love for God? When entertained by Simon the Pharisee, Jesus taught this truth with a story of two debtors forgiven by a moneylender, and a woman who was in the act of perfuming His feet. (Luke 7:40-50)
“You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. For this reason I say to you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who has been forgiven little, loves little.” (Luke 7:46-47) If anyone is having a problem loving others, as Jesus has loved them (sacrificially), it would be good to consider God’s grace anew. Our time will be better spent than making New Year resolutions. We all have been forgiven much. Amen?