by BJ Rudge
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by B. J. Rudge, Ph.D.
During family devotions, we have been looking at what it means to love. We found John chapter 13 to be an important passage. In this chapter Jesus washes His disciples’ feet, predicts His betrayal by Judas, then gives His disciples the following command:
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 will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:34, 35).
As we talked about this verse, I asked my kids to describe the people who live in our neighborhood. They mentioned some neighbors who would do anything to help you out, and other neighbors who were not friendly or complained or caused problems. I then asked them how they thought our neighbors would describe us. Specifically, would they describe us as a family who showed love?
I explained that we should not be surprised to find differences in how we live from the way many of our neighbors live. In fact, we should not be surprised to find some neighbors who may not even like us because of our Christian faith (John 15:18-21). However, we would never want anyone in our neighborhood to describe us as a family who does not live out our love for God and for others (1 Peter 2:11, 12).
How might your neighbors, coworkers, etc. describe you? Would they describe you as a person (or family) who lives out God’s command to love one another? In a time when our world is full of hatred, hostility, violence and discord, let each of us be reflections of Christ-like love.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another (1 John 4:7-11).
By Glen Rudge
My friend told me about a book, he said it’d set my soul on fire.
He said that it was good, and I know he’s not a liar.
I had known him all my life, and he had never steered me wrong.
He knew that I liked music and said that this was God’s own song.
I had heard about the Bible, but had never given it a read.
My friend told me that it was the most positive of seed.
There was a Bible that my mom had given me sitting on my shelf.
My mom had read it to me years ago, but I had not read it myself.
I took the book down from the shelf, blowing the dust off of it.
Then I sat down in my favorite chair figuring I’d read for just a bit.
The words they flowed like water, feeding my hungry mind.
I became so into it, I lost all track of time.
Yes, it was just like water, refreshing me to my soul.
It told me about such beautiful things, and a man I did not know.
My friend said it would save me; in fact he quite persisted.
I read the words carefully about that man I never knew existed.
It said He gave his life for me so that I would live.
And I couldn’t think of a greater sacrifice that anyone could ever give.
It was like a soldier risking his life for mine.
I thought about it and realized, WOW, how loving and how kind.
One life for many, a sacrifice so pure;
I could almost not believe all the pain this man endured.
Then a few days after his death he arose to glory,
Sitting on a holy throne, WOW, what a great story.
I think I’ll read it again, in fact quite a few times,
And maybe I’ll even speak of it in some of my rhymes.
Hey, let me tell you about a book that I just read.
It will save you from eternal death, like a friend of mine had said.
I’ll back up that statement, because I’ve become saved, too.
And consider this the best advice I could ever give to you.