Read through the Bible in 2 years: John 13
"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
When Jesus knew that His hour had come to give up His life and return to his Father, He didn’t look to a bucket list of “Top 100 Things to Do Before You Die.” No, he washed His disciples’ feet. The most important thing to Him before His death was to leave an example of true love for His followers.
He gives them this “new commandment” – a very old commandment actually, but made even more difficult by the addition of “JUST AS I HAVE LOVED YOU.” It’s really, really hard to love your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 12:31) This takes supernatural power. But to love others sacrificially as Jesus did – washing your friends’ feet, your students’ feet, even your betrayer’s feet – and even to lay down your own life for someone else, this is impossible apart from being born again, having a new will and new power working in you. (Philippians 2:13)
Will you please pray with me for the Lord to give you this strength?
Heavenly Father, I confess to you how hard it is for me to love others as myself, and even how impossible it is for me to love others as you have loved me. Help me to remember that what is impossible for man is possible for God. Nothing is impossible for you. I can do this because you give me strength.
Help me to remember that You loved me while I was a sinner, your enemy. You ran after me while I was running away from you.
Help me to feel that kind of love for others and to express that kind of love toward others. Help me to pursue others like you pursued me. Help me to serve others like you served me. Help me to see the need of other people as greater than my own need.
Jesus, you are my perfect example of being a servant. Help me to consider others more highly than myself. Help me to serve my family and my friends, people who love me. Help me to serve my children and my students, people who are under my authority. Help me to serve the stranger and alien and even my enemy, remembering that you loved me when I was a stranger and alien and even Your enemy.
In the strong and kind name of Jesus, I pray, Amen.