He calls us to love
A devotional by Alexis Newlin
“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.” – John 13:34 (ESV)
We are no match for the gates of Hell, for the sin that resides within us and the evil that seeks to destroy us and everything we hold dear. Alone we cannot overcome this darkness. We are hopelessly lost. The only answer that gives us a fighting chance is LOVE. Jesus is love. Through Him and only Him, do we ever have a chance for victory.
Now love is not easy. It is hard work. It takes putting ourselves aside, admitting that we are weak and need a Savior. God has revealed that love is one of his biggest weapons. Jesus saved us all with one simple act. Love. He conquered sin and death for us all. And when we use it, we can conquer anything. We just have to learn how.
So I took a look at 1 Corinthians 13, because I needed to figure out this “how to really love” thing. Like I mentioned before, it’s hard. Why is it hard?
I can’t speak for everyone, but I can speak for myself. For one, I’m human. And with that comes selfishness, pride, impatience, foot-in-mouth syndrome, and anger. And when I’m wronged, here come vengeance and unforgiveness. It’s a mess, but it’s what you default to when you are human and try to go it alone.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 says, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never ends.”
There’s a lot to love, many things this one word seems to hold. Yet, it was Jesus Christ’s one command to us in John 13:34 (ESV) was, “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.”
I look at that command and think: “God, I am so human. I want what I want, when I want it and how I want it. How can I possibly follow this?”
Yet, He calls us to love. It’s a scary thing because we’re human. And better yet, you want us, with all our mess, all our stuff, all our love of self, to join together with another human – with all their stuff and mess and love of self – and call it love.
Wow. That’s an even bigger command. To let worlds collide, very different worlds, and learn to love within them.
So what do we do with all of this? What is our plan?
We have to follow love. It’s the only way to win. It’s the only way to defeat the enemy. It’s like a throat punch to the devil every single time we choose to love. Every time we choose unity over separation, another throat punch. Pretty soon the devil can’t speak anymore hate and fear into our lives because his throat is swollen shut. That’s an awesome thing.
Every time we lay ourselves down, and choose these things and choose Christ, the enemy reels back in and it causes him pain. It makes me happy to know that every time we do this one simple act, to love, it destroys the enemy.
So I choose love. No matter how difficult, how scary or how painful…I choose love.
Alexis is a 36-year-old lover of Jesus, loose leaf tea, roller coasters, writing stories and going on adventures. Originally from Marietta, GA, Alexis now resides in Fresno, CA.
You can always find Alexis outdoors enjoying a walk in her neighborhood, scoping out the newest food truck, hanging out with friends or planning her next trip.
Her church, The Revival Center, and family mean the world to her. They have supported her through the loss of her mother and her own cancer diagnosis.
Alexis enjoys encouraging others by reminding them not to look at what they see, but to always look to God, who is working in the unseen.
Alexis currently writes for several online ministries and launched her first podcast – The Brave Podcast – in January 2020.
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