A New Commandment March 7-11

Jesus was tenderly preparing the disciples for His death. He was going to leave them, and though they could not journey with Him, the door was open for them to follow and be with Him again. The new commandment He gave them may not have seemed new —it was a commonplace principle based on the Law. So what made it new? The new commandment was not the Law but one of grace. It was based on the establishment of a new covenant, a new Passover, sealed by Jesus’ own blood. And in keeping this commandment, the Spirit of Jesus would live through His disciples, drawing them together in a vibrant, living community that is stronger than life or death.

Day 1      John 13:31-34

Reflect:  What did Judas set into motion (verse 31)? Why did Jesus choose this time to give His new command? What words are different compared to the Law known by the disciples?

Apply:   Consider all the ways Jesus modeled love for His disciples and how He has shown His love for you. How can you in turn, share that same kind of love with others?

Pray:     Jesus, help me to love others with grace and truth the way You love me.  When others            see me, may they see You.

Day 2    Mark 12:28-34

Reflect:  What about the teacher’s response gave Jesus pause to reflect and see his wisdom? Why did Jesus respond the way He did and what do we learn?

Apply:    Consider times when you chose seemingly empty acts of worship or service for God rather than to fully love Him by sacrificially loving others. How can you grow in love?

Pray:       Jesus, help me understand what it means to put the “law of love” into practice. Give me single-mindedness to embrace loving You and loving others as a life commitment to You.

Day 3     Romans 12:9-16

Reflect: Our surrender to God is not just about our relationship with Him. How do you see that truth here? What words would you use to describe what surrender should produce in us?

Apply:   Surrender to God deepens all relationships. How might one good and one tough relationship change if, in surrender to God, you love more sincerely, devotedly, humbly?

Pray:      Lord, I surrender my relationships to You, the God who can so something about them.            May I cling to what is good and abhor all that is evil as I abide in You and You live in me.

Day 4      John 13:36-38

Reflect: Could there be a tougher question than the one Jesus asked Peter? What is Jesus revealing to Peter in this text? Was Peter ready to put Jesus on the throne of his heart?

Apply:  How would you answer Jesus’ question? Consider these questions—Will you make My will  your will? Will you make My style your style? Will you love as I love?

Pray:    Share your answers with Jesus.

Day 5     John 14:1-4    

Reflect: How would you describe how Jesus felt about His disciples and what He wanted for them? In verse 1, what was He really saying to them? What was His important point for them in verses 2-3?

Apply:    In order to surrender your life to Jesus, there must be a high level of trust. What would you say is preventing you from that kind of trust? Ask Him to reveal what is blocking you.

Pray:       Father, when I’m stressed, overwhelmed, and unsure, help me to hold fast to this     wonderful truth in Your Word. Remind me that You, who has power over everything, can calm my heart.

Put It Into Practice

In prayer this week, ask the Lord to show you who you need to love sacrificially and unconditionally “as [He] has loved you.” Ask Him for help and guidance to do this, surrendering yourself and letting the Lord love them through you. Then take note of what happens.