ADVENT BIBLE STUDY
Week 3: LOVE
Day 5: ...that You Love one Another
12 “This is my command, that you love one another, even as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. John 15:12-13 (WEB)
Do you ever find it strange that we call the day commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus - Good Friday? And why are we discussing this at the end of an advent week focused on Joy and the Virgin Mary. How is it that Mary found joy in giving birth to a son destined to die for us?
And why is this a command?
Jesus only used the word command a few times, and this time was so personal to Him; as he tells his apostles (who will abandon Him) to follow His example, while literally heading to Calvary and His crucifixion.
My challenge is making that personal for myself - I’m to Love as Jesus did, and be willing to lay down my life for others. Serving in the military and going into combat, I was prepared to do my job and knew that the worst could happen; but I sure wasn’t planning on sacrificing or dying; I planned on my enemy doing that. I found the closest correlation to the giving up a life for another while watching close family suffer, and some die, and wanting to do anything for them.
None of that correlated with joy.
I imagine Mary standing at that cross seeing her son, beaten, gasping for air, His body heaving with pain and her utter sorrow, horror and fear. Anything but joy.
BUT, three days later the world changes and our absolute joy is made real, as Jesus walks out of His tomb.
Mary demonstrated incredible love, and through pain and joy at His birth and again at his death and His rising as our Savior.
As I spend more time in His presence, I am learning to see through the pain of today, and the days to come, and seeing with eyes of the heart the Joy prepared for me!
Daily Battle Order:
Dear Father, thank you for the greatest example of love the world has ever seen. Thank you that while we were still sinners Jesus died for me, for you and for everyone; and asked us to love others as He loved us. Dear Father, empower us to love others as Jesus loved us, and embrace the only Joy that is truly for eternity.
What are your reflections of today’s verse; what did you learn or intend to apply as you focus on love and advent?
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