Jesus took the command of the “Golden Rule” to love someone as you love yourself to a whole new level. He loved others MORE than he loved his own life. He treated others as MORE important than himself. He gave up his very life for the sake of others – the most extreme expression of human love possible.
We can’t rely on ourselves, and we can’t rely on others. We can only rely on God’s love. It is not enough to just simply know about God’s love intellectually. We have to have the kind of experience with God and his love where we rely upon it, because we are living inside God’s love, and his love is living inside of us through the Holy Spirit. That kind of experiential knowledge of God’s love will change our life, and the lives of those around us.
Being effective and productive in life begins with our minds, and understanding the “great and precious promises” that Christ has given us, and the “divine power” that is available to us. But it then moves beyond the intellectual knowledge, and produces faith in our life to put into practice the things we know are true. What good are great and precious promises and divine power if we never use them and put them into practice? When we put them into practice, we possess the qualities of an effective and productive life that are listed here by Peter: faith – goodness – knowledge – self control – perseverance – godliness – brotherly kindness – love.
Jesus had spent the past three years with his closest disciples, and his teaching while residing in their physical presence was about to come to an end. He was about to be arrested and then executed within hours. He had one more lesson for these disciples, and it was the greatest lesson of all. Learning this lesson would completely change their lives, and also completely change the world. If one were to summarize all of Jesus’ teaching during those three years into one simple command, it would be this: A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35) While the command to love others was not new, since it existed in the Law of Moses, loving others as Jesus did was something new! The world had never seen a love like the love that Jesus possessed and demonstrated. And Jesus’ intention was that his disciples would exhibit this same kind of love – that the world would recognize his disciples by the very love that he himself had taught and demonstrated. So now the time had come for his last lesson, and it began in an upper room in Jerusalem during the Passover, known as the “Last Supper.” John, one of Jesus’ closest disciples, records this last meeting with the disciples in John chapters 13 through 17. Understanding the principles that Jesus taught during this last meeting, is the key to ultimate health and wellness as taught by the greatest teacher that ever walked on the face of this earth.
Do we over-value knowledge at the expense of love?
What is love? What power does true love have to bring about healing?
Is it possible to please God, to make him happy? Are God’s feelings toward me affected by anything I can control? Yes! Starting with the truth that God exists and that he created us, the way we think and the way we live our lives, most certainly do affect the way God feels about us. So how can we please God?