Let's begin with a powerful scripture reading, spoken by Jesus, Himself:
A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another (John 13:34-35 KJV).
Well, I suppose we could falsely assume this is an easy request of the Lord, but it's isn't. Why not, you ask? Because the love Jesus is speaking of, is a love that does not come from "natural man". He is not speaking of the heart of man, that so easily falls into deception. He is speaking of a supernatural love, a divine love, an absolutely selfless, reaching out, giving love, a love not mindful of self. It's a love that goes far beyond our own capabilities. It's the very love of Christ Jesus. Let's take a few minutes to look into the meaning of Christ's heart in this scripture reference, according to the Strong's Concordance (quotes from the Strong's):
A new (fresh or recent) commandment (order, prescribed rule) I give (bestow, supply, furnish, deliver, extend, present, entrust, commit, grant, permit, commission) unto you, that ye also love (welcome, entertain, be fond of, love dearly) one another (yourselves, mutually). By this shall all [men] (everyone, whosever, the whole, every man) know (understand, perceive, have knowledge of, feel) that ye are my disciples (a learner, pupil) if (if, in case) ye have (possess, adhere or cling to, be closely joined to a person) love (charity, hold dear, brotherly love, affection, good will, benevolence, have love), one to another (intermidiate between, with, among, by and through).
Notice the last three words of verse 35 (one to another)? Jesus did not say love "for" one another, but rather love one "to" another. It's something you do one "to" another ... it's a choice "to" love. Now, lets paraphrase what Jesus is actually saying to each one of us, keeping in mind that He changes not, and reminding ourselve that just as these instructions applied to yesterday, they still do today, and will tomorrow:
"My commandment to you is fresh, it is ordered, it is prescribed to you, by Me. I deliver, in fact, I entrust, yes ... I commission you to love one another dearly ... to mutually welcome one another. As you do this, every man will know ... yes, they will perceive, they will understand that it is I who teach you, that you learn of Me, that you are My pupils, if in case you cling to, and are closely joined to one another ... if you hold one another dear, with brotherly love and affection, and desire only good for one another, reaching towards each other, with a charitable love ... with My love."
In no way is there room for judgement, gossip, tearing down, hardened hearts, or for lack of interest toward our brothers and/or sisters. As I said earlier this is not an easy love, nor is it in any way something of but little value, for the love spoken of here, is the love of Christ ... that very same love that went to the Cross for each one of us. Can we do any less? Should we ourselves not be willing to love one another with the love of the Cross ... with the love of Jesus? Jesus is always there for us, always reaching out, always extending His comfort, encouragement, peace and love to us. Let's remember, according to 1 Corinthians 13:13 the greatest we can ever possess, is love. Let's open our hearts, and allow the Lord (the Potter) to mold the clay (to mold our hearts), that the love we extend to one another is the very love of Christ. May His love be made known to you, in an even greater way than you have yet known. Amen! In Him ... Marcia.