A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:34-35
When I was a kid, I grew up watching Sailor Moon. She was my hero! Yeah, her character was that of a lazy, whiny, and frightened girl, but as soon as she transformed into her alternate identity Sailor Moon was the defender of love and justice who always triumphed over evil. She treated everyone fairly, and she was ultimately able to influence some of her enemies to come to the side of goodness. I wanted to be just like her!
Fast forward to the present and not much has changed. Sailor Moon still and always will be my favorite super hero. Much more than that, I still want to be a champion of love and justice, but my motivation has changed. Instead of being stirred by a fictional character, I have a Real and Perfect King who came into my broken world and showed me what living and breathing LOVE is. There isn’t a day that goes by that He doesn’t shower me with His love even when I am the last one to deserve it.
He lived the blameless life that I wasn’t capable of, and out of His goodness and love, He adopted me into the kingdom of Light! If you have never heard of sacrificial love, I implore you to read about the life of Jesus.
Since I am adopted into His family, what is my duty as His child? Why couldn’t I just go straight to heaven the moment I confessed my sins, believed in Jesus, and committed my life to Him?
And He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Luke 10:2
It is my duty to live out the rest of my days on earth as an extension of Christ’s love. That should be easy, right? Last time I looked in the mirror, I was still an imperfect, stubborn, and blundering human girl. I’m not trying to excuse myself from my duty, but I’m just pointing out that living my life as a mirror of Christ is a very tall and seemingly impossible mission.
For that reason, I am grateful to have a Father who forgives me when I fall short and continues to pick me up when I stumble in my race. There are days when loving people is as easy as breathing. Saying words of encouragement or doing helpful deeds. If you’re like me you get that warm fuzzy feeling afterwards!
Then there are days when I put my mouth where my foot should be, and I am ashamed because of my wayward tongue. It is so easy to kick myself and stay down, but Paul told the believers in Philippi to forget what is in the past and continue to look forward to the high prize of God! When I do encounter people who get under my skin, or I am just having an off day I literally have to stop what I am doing and pray, “Lord, help me to love as you love. Father, help me to love Your image bearers.”
Please do not be discouraged if you feel like your life isn’t up to par with the Son of God. For me, it is a daunting mountain that I can never climb on my own. I need help! Ask Him to change you from the inside out. I don’t know any other Being who is as good as Him in the heart changing business. Before you realize it, you will decrease, and He will increase. Don’t believe me? Jesus gives us His promise that He will bring about fruit in your life. Christ is the one who will ultimately show the proof of His existence in your life.
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. John 15:5