“I’ve heard it said that a man would climb a mountain
Just to be with the one he loves
How many times has he broken that promise
It has never been done
I’ve never climbed the highest mountain
But I walked the hill of Calvary
Just to be with you, I’d do anything
There’s not price I would not pay
Just to be with you, I’d give anything
I would give my life away”
Those are the lyrics of one of my favourite songs called ‘Love Song’ by Third Day They sang the song as if Jesus was saying these words. The depth of Jesus’ love for us is so powerful!
If there’s one thing I know about Jesus Christ, it’s that He loves us. After all, the Bible says God is love. He is the author of love and He taught and practiced love.
And it was love that led Him to the cross. His love is amazing.
On the other hand, loving people is not easy. At least not with our human strength and wisdom. The Bible says ‘All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’ in Romans 3:23.
Sin makes it difficult to love people. People we love disappoint us, hurt us, ignore us, they’re ungrateful or leave us. It makes it hard to keep loving them.
And God knows that. That’s why we can look to Jesus to show us how to love. Because He is our greatest example. He is God but he was man just like us so He can relate to us.
5 Powerful and Practical ways to love like Jesus:
1. He died for the people He loved
1 John 3:16 ‘By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren’
- The first and most powerful and practical way Jesus loved us was to die for us on the Cross. Romans 5:8 says He died for us while were still sinners.
- Jesus didn’t wait for us to be good people. He didn’t wait for us to be holy. He died for us when we had wronged him, we had sinned against Him.
- How can we lay down our lives the same way Jesus did? How can we practice this daily?
- Firstly , we reconcile people to God, the same way Jesus did. We share the Gospel with them.
- Secondly, we share our testimony of how we are saved. And the impact God’s love has had on us.
- We share this message with people, no matter the cost. Even if it embarrasses us or makes us unpopular. We do it because we love the way Jesus did.
2. He prayed for people
Luke 5:15-16 says ‘However, the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. So, He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.
- Jesus was a man of prayer. He prayed for the needs of those around him. By himself. Prayer is a powerful way to love like Jesus.
- Jesus prayed for his disciples- for God to keep them from the evil one and that they would have joy. He prayed for us all believers to be united in God and the love of God to be in us (John 17)
- Instead of only talking about the needs people have and our desires for people, we love like Jesus by praying for people. Not only at church with others, but even at home by ourselves.
- We pray for our family and loved ones. The churches, our pastors and our communities need our prayers.
- Our leaders, our countries- they all need to be lifted to God in prayer.
- Prayer God’s word is a practical way to love because the word of God is living and active (Hebrews 4:12).
3. He accepted people as they are
- Jesus was seen talking to a Samaritan woman, asking her to come to Him, the living waters. In that time Jews could not speak to Samaritans. And the disciples were surprised to see Him talking to her. (John 4)
- He went to eat in the homes of tax collectors who were regarded as sinners, something that surprised the religious leaders of that time (Luke 19:1-10)
- He rescued the adulteress woman from being stoned to death and told her He didn’t condemn her, and she should no longer live in sin (John 8:1-12)
- Who are the people you need to accept in your life? Is it a family member or the outcast in your church or the misfit at work? Invite them into your life and your home. Love them like Jesus.
- Accepting people as they are is a powerful way to love like Jesus Christ. It makes us stand out as children of God. It makes us different from the world.
- Jesus didn’t accept people and leave them in sin. He led them to God. He also calls us to do the same. We are His hands and feet in this lost and broken world.
4. He cared for people
- When Jesus was out preaching and the disciples told Him people were hungry, He performed a miracle and fed all 5000+ people that were there (Luke 9:10-17).
- He cared not just for their spiritual needs (He was feeding them the word which is spiritual food), but He also cared for their physical needs.
- Do you care about the needs of others? If you’re capable of helping others who are struggling financially or lack any material possessions, what can you do to care for them like Jesus did?
- Loving people like Jesus means not just sharing the Gospel with them and praying for them. It also means caring for any physical needs they have and helping them. That is a practical and powerful way to love.
5. He used His power to benefit people
- When his friend Lazarus died, and Jesus saw his sister Mary weeping, Jesus wept (John 11:35). He cared for Lazarus and his sisters. And He raised Lazarus from the dead (Full story in John 11: 1-44)
- Jesus also healed many who came to him with illnesses because He had the power to do so.
- What are your talents and gifts? It might not be making people rise from the dead or healing them, but you are still gifted. Is it encouraging others, singing or being organised?
- Whatever gift you have is your superpower, use it to benefit those around you, in the church, in your home and your community.
- Using our gifts and talents to love those around us is a practical and powerful way to love like Jesus.
My encouragement to you
Jesus Christ is our example. He is our standard. How can we love others when it’s hard? We look at the standard He set. The Bible says He was a man just as we are.
People hurt Him and hated Him, they made false accusations against Him, they spit on Him and they crucified Him, yet He still loved. He still prayed for them. He still healed them, and they were not grateful.
He loves you and l just as we are today. In our imperfections. He still loves us. His love is not just in words. It’s also practical love. And practical love is so powerful.
We can learn a lot from Him in our roles as moms, wives, workers, sisters, friends, cousins, aunts, children and members of the church or society.
Jesus Christ I thank you for dying for me on the Cross. You are my Saviour, my Redeemer, my Friend. Thank you for loving me just as I am. Teach me to love others just like you’ve loved me and do it all for your glory.
In Jesus name I pray. Amen.