And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.

2 John 6

 

Jesus taught often and in depth on what it meant to love others from God’s perspective. This form of love was not for self-gain or gratification. Rather, it was a sacrificial love that was willing and fully able to give up and give away all of self for the sake of others. This love that Jesus brought to the world was even able to love those who hated and rejected its giver, those who we label as enemies. This is the love that God lavished upon all of His handiwork at the beginning of creation, and this is the love that caused the Father to pour out His Son as the absolute sacrifice that was required to heal the separation between God and humanity that sin created.

 

In John’s short letter to the elect lady and her family he is primarily focused on the need to guard the truth of the gospel and to live in its full revelation. Yet, the act of living in truth needs to be surrounded and infused with God’s love. Otherwise we become harsh and defensive so that the sweet aroma of that gospel is hidden under a tight lid of protection and fear. Living in truth and in love is not easy to do. Most of us have encountered situations and people who make it hard to pour out love. In fact, it seems that most followers of Christ have been hurt while attempting to love others. Yet, Christ does not call His people into an easy life. He calls us into a life of humility, obedience, and sacrifice.

 

So, following Christ means that we love in times and places where that is unnatural to us. Obedience to God leads us to seek out people who we would otherwise avoid, and it compels us to turn to God for His grace and understanding so that we can engage in relationship building with people who might otherwise land in the categories of enemy or stranger. As we live in this world, truth establishes the foundation upon which we stand, and love bridges the gap between others and us. God’s love for us is our security. Christ provides us with absolute assurances of the unending and unstoppable nature of that love. So , in the fearlessness of our place as God’s beloved, we can follow Christ’s commandment to live in love with all others and through that love to bring the truth of the gospel to them.