S (Scripture) – John 13:34-35 “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.”
O (Observation) – Lord, You are our perfect example. You show us how to love others well, and not just talk about loving others well. We all are familiar with the Golden Rule, to “do unto others as we would have them do unto us.” We are also familiar with the commandment to “love our neighbor as ourselves.” This “new” commandment You have given us takes the notion of loving others to an entirely new level: to love one another as You have loved us. The commandment is taking the framework of our definition of love and expanding it exponentially. What we used to use as the measuring stick of our love for others was how we wanted to be treated, and loving them as ourselves…now You have shown us that to be Your disciples, we must love others as You have loved us.
A (Application) – In John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible, he says, “as Christ has loved his people freely, notwithstanding all their unworthiness and ungratefulness, so should they love one another, though there may be many things in them observable, which are disagreeable; as Christ loves all his children without any distinction, so should they love one another, whether poor or rich, weaker or stronger, lesser or greater believers; and as Christ loves them not in word only, but in deed and in truth, so should they love one another with a pure heart fervently, and by love serve one another.”
Lord, You had just finished washing Your disciples’ feet before giving them this commandment. You want us to humble ourselves and to serve one another, with pure hearts, and with passion. The world around us will be able to look in and see something different about Your people – the loving and serving hearts that can only have such an outpouring having first received the love only You can give us.
P (Prayer) – Heavenly Father, thank You for being the perfect example for us to follow. Your humility and desire to serve others is so contradictory to what the world considers to be a powerful leader. Yet, You are God, and Your power is indescribably infinite. You don’t force Yourself on anyone; You lovingly pursue our hearts until we recognize the purity and sincerity of Your love for us. May we spend our lives loving others, even as You have loved us. May they see You in us, and know that we are Your disciples by our serving hearts and humble spirit.