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A Lost Commandment?

The other day someone gave me a book that has gotten my attention. It’s called, Love Revolution: Rediscovering the Lost Command of Jesus by Gaylord Enns.

I was skeptical at first. Expected a predictable rehash of a subject we’ve all heard a lot about.

But the author told his own story of brokenness in a way that drew me in… until I began to understand his enthusiasm for a discovery that he says changed his life.

In short, Enns suggests that, although our Lord taught us many things, he gave special emphasis, and New Testament focus, to one commandment: “To love one another as he has loved us” (John 13:34; 15:12).

Enns goes on to say that the additional pattern he finds repeated in the New Testament is actually two commands: (1) believe in the name of the Son of God, and (2) love one another (1John 3:23).

In addition, the author goes on to say that he was surprised to discover that in light of the emphasis that Jesus gave to loving one another as he loved us, he does not find that same focus or emphasis in the historic confessions of the church, nor in the writings of the early church Fathers.

Am finding that the book is an easy read… and surprisingly provocative…

PS As I see it, this is the kind of simplicity of focus that is helpful in light of complexity– rather than without consideration for complexity (whether in the details of Scripture or the difficult issues of life.)

“One” more thought. Also have in my office a notebook that lists all of the “Commands of Christ”. In this case the author combs the Gospels for everything Jesus said that amounts to an imperative. The author of this project refers, as Enns does, to the fact that Jesus told us to teach “everything he commanded us to do”.

Reminds me of something Paul wrote. While emphasizing the wisdom and value of the whole counsel of God– he also seems to say that behind everything– there are really only a couple of things… “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Paul Gal 5:14

Question: Who is our neighbor? The one who shares our faith? or…

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108 Responses to “A Lost Commandment?”

  1. poohpity says:

    Thank you, Mart! I needed this reminder.

  2. scout1 says:

    Hi Mart:

    I don’t understand your question. What “historic confessions” of what “church” are you referring to? Also, which “church Fathers”? Do you mean the time right after Jesus left earth and the Holy Spirit came? Did you finish the book?

  3. Mart De Haan says:

    Scout1, Enns said that he did extensive research on the church fathers who wrote in the second and third centuries. He gives examples of some of the brief references that he found in a couple (i.e. Augustine) But he said that out of hundreds of other issues that they addressed almost nothing on the one commandment that our Lord gave so much emphasis to.

    The creeds i.e., Nicene and Apostles’.

  4. scout1 says:

    Thanks Mart for the clarification. It’s interesting that during different time periods, different things were brought out more than other things. I wonder what things we as a church are emphasizing right now. Are we “balanced” in those most important things the Lord said? I know that there are many times that I fall short, especially in the “love one another” command. There are so many times I have to ask the Lord to love through me.

    Well, one things is for sure, since the Lord put so much emphasis on those two things they will be attacked by Satan with lots of zeal. Makes you know your on track when it’s one of Satan favorite things to down play!

    Here’s to being on track!!

  5. Debo says:

    Hello everybody. I have read the posts/blogs posted here every week; learnt a lot but never posted a comment untill today. May God’ wisdom and understanding of his Word continue to multiply to all. Amen in Jesus’s name.

    That done, now to the subject matter. LOVE is not, though it seems like it, is not lost as a commandment in the world but it is dying out. As long as true Christian are in this world it will not be lost, die or blacken.out. It needs more lightsto reflect and glow (We are the light of the world”) The love we witness nowadays are more selfish than unselfish. Like someone dying for lack of or improper nutrition such person needs the right life giving nutrition so why are they lacking reluctant to receive the bread of life. The saying goes that “charity(love) begins at home” . So we that have already have the breath and bread of life infused into us needs to take a look and account to how we share this life giving love amongst ourselves/family of God. Let us share the purest among us and the result will be so good that the world would be enticed to seek what we have. Know that if we do this, either one or two or God willing many of us would show that we are truly Christ friend and disciples. And the world that is now in darkness and dying out because their souls is losing the strength that love can give will search for the light of God and the soul of the world will have the expected revival. Don’t take my word it check the Biblical and secular history you will see it again and again.

    Note very well that God is love and anything you do in love even if it do not pan out immediately or not at all it is acceptable before God. If we collectively do things in love as the spirit of God would always guides us then the topic today would not be about the lost of love but we would be sharing testimonies and encouragements about how love has rejuvenated and grown in our little part of the world we share.

    See, I knew I can be longwinded that’s why I have been afraid to jump in bfefore. Hahaha :=)

  6. poohpity says:

    Glad you jumped, Debo!!

  7. pegramsdell says:

    If we do not love God, how can we love our neighbor? If we do not love our neighbor, how can we love God? I believe both are very related. God first, then others. In that order, then He will bless us and we will have everything we need, and the desires of our heart. Simple!

  8. xrgarza says:

    Thank you Mart,

    I was first saved 43 years ago March 1st, 1967, but it wasn’t until I was 30y/o when I began to practice and apply the word to my life literately.

    I realized a long time ago that sin is anything that keeps me separated from God, that’s why we must die daily. There are habits that we all have that have become part of us in a way that we are not even aware of them like the color of our skin or the sound of our voice. As a Christian it is very easy to be rhetorical about our faith and walk.

    As a young man I grew to hate my mother, she was a person that I was never able to reason with at any level, no matter if I was right or wrong, good or bad, I believed that in her eyes I was always wrong and bad.

    It’s been about two years, when I read Honor your mother and your father only the good ones and the nice ones. (With tears in my eyes I now write) it didn’t say that. I realized then that I was not honoring my mother but that I had a responsibility to honor her regardless of her behavior, beliefs, and actions.

    I knew that if I had gone to her and asked her “mom, what can I do to honor you?” she would not be able to verbalize it. So I went to the Lord in prayer, and prayed, Lord I really want to honor my mother but I don’t have a clue where to even begin, teach me to honor my mother in a way that You will know that I am honoring her, in a way that she will know that she is being honored, and so that I would know that I am honoring my mother and not simply going through the motions.

    Today two years later, I know that I have been honoring my mother, don’t get me wrong there is always room for improvement, but I am at peace not to mention all those things that she use to do that would irritate me, well she still does them they are a part of her, but they don’t control me like they used to. I see them as a term of endearment I was blessed with such a special lady/angel to be my mother/neighbor.

    God Bless Mart and all

  9. xrgarza says:

    PS: And yes not only have I grown to honor my mother, I love her so in such a way that I never knew I could.

    Thank you Jesus!

  10. Mart De Haan says:

    Xavier, I think when you prayed,

    “Lord I really want to honor my mother but I don’t have a clue where to even begin, teach me to honor my mother in a way that You will know that I am honoring her, in a way that she will know that she is being honored, and so that I would know that I am honoring my mother and not simply going through the motions…”

    …you gave us a wonderful model for what we need to do when we find ourselves not knowing how to move forward in any relationship…

  11. xrgarza says:

    Mart, I’m humbled thank you for your kind words.

    pegramsdell, the Bible also reminds us that we should love our neighbors and enemies as we love ourselves. If we don’t love ourselves how can we possibly love anyone including God, isn’t this what the children of Israel struggled with, that’s partly why two or three generations missed out entering the promise land.


  12. Lively says:

    Sigh… the reason I normally type in Word is so I don’t lose what I am writing if something goes wrong. Figures, when I think I’m going to type a quick message and fail to do it I end up losing what I wrote…

    Well, what I was saying, before I rudely interrupted myself… isn’t every person on earth a child of God? Don’t we all start out that way – plus how do we know that a person isn’t going to end up being our brother or sister in Christ? My mind goes to the parable of the workers in the field – those that come late in the day get the same “wage” as those who labored under the morning, noon and afternoon sun. I am also thinking of the lesson warning us to take care because we don’t always know who our “guest” is. (Seriously, how cool would it be to entertain a heavenly host?!?)

    I know something about loving my enemy – God gave me the strength to do it. The rewards can be great when you trust Him and obey what he asks of you.

    I don’t see it as being a “lost” commandment – for me, it’s the one I strive for first. All the others are much easier to keep if you are trying to love everyone! Umm, that’s not to say I succeed btw – just saying that is my outlook on how I strive to treat everyone.

  13. pegramsdell says:

    Well….our neighbors can be enemies…..and sometimes are. But, you are right we need to love them…and ourselves. :)

  14. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Like Steve I was going to have a break…
    Please don’t leave us steve!… but I always seem to get drawn in.

    Question: Who is our neighbor? The one who shares our faith? or…

    As well as being comanded to love ome another as He has loved us (that means to the death of self, no matter what form that takes) He also commanded us to love our enemies.

    Our neighbour, as discussed on previous occasions, is the person nearest to us who needs our help, support and encouragement. It does not matter who they are, what they are, or where they are. (in Christ or in the world)
    On this blog we are all neigbours even though we are a world apart we are linked in space and time by this media.
    Just been to hospital again today and it is very obvious that the person in the next bed is your neighbour. We are drawn together by sickness and suffering.
    “Love one another as(He has) I have loved(us) you”
    I don’t have the time to look it up at the moment, but I would love to know how many times Jesus said that and to what people.

  15. bubbles says:

    Bob in Cornwall,
    Please don’t leave. I really enjoy the perspective of someone outside the U.S. You always have something interesting to say.

    That last subject was heavy, overwhelming, and scary.The subject itself is that–not Mart’s blog. :)

    It was interesting to see how other places handle this same issue. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  16. poohpity says:

    Today my son called me because his feelings got hurt because the worship leader in his band told him there is times when his drums are to loud and people have complained. We discussed about how sometimes getting feedback is difficult while it is happening but we can be thankful that someone cares enough about us to help us to want to change and grow. When you love someone you want them to grow and if things are done in love it will not crush but help to better who we are.

  17. Regina says:

    Hello Fellow Bloggers,

    Bob (NC)

    “Believing in Him if real…”

    Bob, what did you mean by this comment? …just a question. …no offense towards you.


  18. Regina says:


    …just wanted to comment on your comment:
    If we don’t love ourselves how can we possibly love anyone including God…

    Isn’t it amazing that God is the one who gives us the ability to love ourselves? I didn’t have a good childhood… had a tough time growing up, and God gave me the ability to love myself. He’s soooo unfathomably amazing to me!!! Bless His holy name! :-)

  19. Regina says:

    Hi Mart,

    To answer your questions: Who is our neighbor? The one who shares our faith?

    Our neighbor is not just the one who shares our faith, but any and everyone that we meet.

  20. xrgarza says:

    Yes Regina, it is utterly amazing.

    It took me a long time before I was able receive that gift, so glad I did.

    Also, I agree with you that our neighbor is everyone that crosses our path.

    God bless

  21. blowentw says:

    I think Jesus or Paul might say the one who shares our faith is our sister or our brother. Our neighbor is the one who doesn’t share our faith.


  22. Bob in Cornwall England says:


    Thanks for your words of encouragement.
    that is what love and being a neighbour or a friend is all about.
    Like pooh(Deb) said about her son being critisised on the loudness of his drums, from over here things look so differnet and it can be so frustrating that you in the US seem to be stuck in the past and sometimes seem so defencsive when it comes to any comments regarding your way of life.
    We have a long history spanning over 1000 years and know our place in the world and have had to adapt to changes just to survive.
    The world has moved on and we have moved on, we are no longer the colonial power that you broke away from and you are no longer a young nation that needs to prove itself.
    Embrace the changes that are happening and move on.


  23. Mart De Haan says:

    A couple more thoughts from the book by Gaylord Enns. He says:

    Jesus emphasized the one commandment to love one another 5 times in his last message before the cross.

    Says he believes that the new commandment that our Lord wants us to focus on enables us to love God:

    By focusing first on how God has loved us through his Son. (am thinking this would also tie in with what our Lord saying about “those who have been forgiven much–i.e. who know how much they needed forgiveness– love much) and,

    By seeing that in loving our brother/sister we have a way of showing our love for God… i.e. Jesus said that in the judgment to come, He will consider a small kindness to a brother or sister as done unto Him… (Matt 25)

  24. chfranke says:


    You asked “isn’t every person on earth a child of God? “Don’t we all start out that way –…”

    My understanding is that God loves everyone, but they are not a child of God until they accept Christ as their savior. I’m not trying to be picky, I’m just looking for confirmation of my understanding.

    In fact it seems you are actually agreeing with me in the rest of the second sentence of your post, “…plus how do we know that a person isn’t going to end up being our brother or sister in Christ?” I agree. We never know who might end up being our very best brother or sister in Christ. That’s why we need to love our enemies, too.

    You went on to say, “I am also thinking of the lesson warning us to take care because we don’t always know who our “guest” is. (Seriously, how cool would it be to entertain a heavenly host?!?).” My guess is that, since you are a child of God, you already have entertained a heavenly host. You just won’t find out until you get to heaven.

    Your brother, Chuck

  25. afranz says:

    I can remember listening to an old song of Don Francisco’s, about love not being a feeling, it is an act of your will.
    When the alarm clock rings in the morning, I don’t always “feel” like bouncing out of bed and doing what I need to do. But my will gets me up and going, and somewhere along the line the feelings and enthusiasm will kick in at least a little bit. You may not have “warm and fuzzy” thoughts about your neighbor, but your actions (by your will to do them good and not evil) will allow the love of Christ to be demonstrated.
    Actually, sometimes I lay there and pray until God’s will gets me up and going. LOL!

  26. Lively says:

    Hey Chuck –

    I dunno – I think we’re all God’s children, but we are not all brother’s and sisters *in Christ*

    The Bible does say that God created everything on Heaven and Earth – so I think I’m standing on pretty firm on scripture with this.


  27. poohpity says:

    I was thinking about those little children in the orphanages in other countries. They never feel human warmth or love and they do not grow and some even die for the lack of love. If they just had someone to hold them and tell them they were with being loved can you imagine the growth. I believe that is what Jesus says to us by the actions displayed through the Cross. Even though many do not understand the concept of laying one’s life down for someone except maybe our soldiers, God loved us that much that no matter who we are or where we are from Jesus died for the human race.

    Jesus did not tell us how wrong we are, he left that to the law, He gave His life for those who did not deserve the sacrifice but Jesus thought that every human being deserved that much love to be separated from the Father for our sins. I think love is like a muscle the more you use it the stronger it gets and the less it is used it gets weaker.

  28. poohpity says:

    There is a difference England Bob. The criticism was specific to the desired change and did not harm or degrade the person. It was not a generalization taking in the whole band just the areas that needed change. That would be like me saying just because one person who calls themselves a Christian does not act like it then they ALL are the same or ALL Americans. It was said in love to help the whole band.

  29. xrgarza says:

    Chuck, when I was a young boy we attended a Catholic church and we were taught that until children reached a certain age at that time it was 12 or 13 it was called the age of accountability and children were protected prior to that age.

    I remember praying “please let me die before I reach the age of accountability, because I knew then that I was not going to make it.

    My 12th Birthday was one of my saddest days.

    Today, I believe similarly that children are protected, I’m not sure where the catholic church came up with that teaching, other than Jesus was a young boy when He first was taken to the temple.


  30. poohpity says:

    afranz, I also believe love is not a feeling it is an action word.

    The saying that “They will know we are Christians by our love” leaves no room for judgment or condemnation because compared to Christ we all fall short and have no room to talk.

  31. Lively says:

    Love is both an action word and a feeling. It’s a verb, an adjective, it’s a noun, it’s descriptive, it’s subjective, and it can be objective. It can be blind, or all seeing. It can be the most natural thing in the world, and conversely it can be the hardest thing you’ve ever done! It knows no bounds – yet will binds us like nothing else; it’s different every day and yet constant.

    Love is impossible to define, yet every single person on this earth knows exactly what it is.

  32. Lively says:

    hmm, constant was supposed to be consistant… lol

  33. poohpity says:

    both work.

  34. Lively says:

    Been thinking about… getting back into playing with poetry again – can you tell? :-)

  35. poohpity says:

    I was wondering if we do not show love will we be pruned from the vine? Or what will we say when we stand before God at the final judgment?

  36. marma says:

    We’ve been reading I Cor at home lately, and I noticed that the Corinthians were “babes in Christ” characterized by their divisions and fightings.

    So, their emphasis on their differences seemed to hinder their ability to love one another and recognize their oneness in Christ.

    Sure, I think we agree that doctrine is important, but without love, it means nothing. The Holy Spirit had Paul write a whole chapter (I Cor 13) to emphasize the point, since the Corinthian believers weren’t getting it.

    I also think about what Jesus said on how All shall know we are his disciples. John 13:35.

    Not by “perfect” doctrine or the way we dress or perfect dialogue about spiritual things.

    Love is a fruit of the Spirit. It is evidence of our being controlled by the Spirit of God.


  37. Lively says:

    Pooh – I think it is one of those “natural” things that comes from being His. Just like a true fruit tree has fruit, a true Christian has love. We all need a bit of ferilizer from time to time…

    I agree completely marma!

  38. rokdude5 says:

    What comes to my mind is God is Love. Granted I dont quite understand thoroughly that kind of Love. It is a Love where He has gave up His Son for us so we can be in His presence forever yet He has destroyed various people and nations who do not follow and worship Him.

    Also in 1 Co 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

    And in Proverbs 25:21-22, If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you.

    Lastly in Matthew 5:44-50, Jesus said, “But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

    I know it isnt easy loving someone who has attacked and hurt you but this is the kind of Love God wants from us. Even though its a tall order but it is still God’s command nevertheless. RJ

  39. poohpity says:

    I was thinking, oh no! You know all those magazines around the check out isle at the grocery stores that show how to change your outer looks, the latest in sex, drugs and how so many harm others. Well what if there was a tabloid that told about only human interest stories that showed some of the good in the world rather than the ugly. I think by news and TV we see all the ugly wouldn’t it be nice to help people to learn how to do good by the examples of others which is not often told. Instead of the National Enquirer or any of those magazines it could be the Lighthouse which gives stories of the best of human nature rather than the worst. Wow I would buy it!!!

  40. xrgarza says:


    Forget buying it, heck lets created it! And then we’ll own it. I think you are absolutely correct, and I also believe that there is a market for that very thing, you are a genius!

    One John, chapter Three verse two says: “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”


  41. poohpity says:

    That would be nice but you need help to start it just another dream of mine. I dream a lot.

  42. xrgarza says:

    My dear friends please remember my mother today as she has begun her 35th day without food, and is still relatively strong.

    Still, conscious, is she holding on for some reason, or is it simply not her time?

    Only the Lord knows for sure, don’t get me wrong I am enjoying my time with my mother I’m not trying to rush her, but if there is a better place for her to be, that’s what I want for her.

    The Bible says that where there are two or three gathered in one place there He is also, can we all agree?

    Thank you

  43. poohpity says:

    You could put in reconciliations, long marriages, people who have overcome, volunteer sites and not necessarily the rich and famous but everyday folks who accomplishments may not have gained materiel wealth but spiritual, the wealth of love and endearment of those around them.

  44. poohpity says:

    Her life is in the hands of the Lord.

  45. poohpity says:

    Rocky, I wanted to let you know that this is the hardest time. I still have a very hard time remembering this process that you are going through not knowing when it will happen. Four days before my mom died she stopped drinking and talking. She could not eat for awhile because the cancer had wrapped around her esophagus and they operated on her. The doctors blew out her lungs when they had to intubate her for the procedure and never thought she would survive that but she did for 10 days after they took the tube out she was coherent until four days before she passed. I am so sad for you and I hurt remembering all that.

  46. saled says:

    What did the writings of the early church fathers emphasize if not to love one another as Jesus loved us?
    I don’t know a lot about church history, but what little I know makes me think that maybe it is the things that would divide us that have always been emphasized instead of love, which would unite us. Does Gaylord Enns book go into detail about the direction that the historic confessions of the church has taken us? So many of our beliefs can be traced to these early Christians. How interesting that they may have missed the main point.

  47. bubbles says:

    Deb, Bless your heart for sharing. Your words remind me of 2Cor. 1:3-4 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort. Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

    Your willing to share something very difficult in order to help another shows love.

  48. Regina says:

    Hi Mart,

    …just a comment on your comment:
    “…in loving our brother/sister we have a way of showing our love for God… i.e. Jesus said that in the judgment to come, He will consider a small kindness to a brother or sister as done unto Him…” (Matt 25)

    I love this statement because it’s so easily understood. By showing kindness and compassion to a brother or sister, we show God how much we love Him. That’s such a wonderful truth. I’m so proud (and thankful) to be a Christian—a child of God (1 John 3:1).


  49. Regina says:


    …just a comment on your comment:
    “I think Jesus or Paul might say the one who shares our faith is our sister or our brother. Our neighbor is the one who doesn’t share our faith.”

    I still think both would fall under the category of “neighbor” because we are commanded to love our brothers, sisters (in the Lord), and people who aren’t born again as we love ourselves.

    Matt. 22:36-40, NIV:
    “36) Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37) Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38) This is the first and greatest commandment. 39) And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40) All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”


  50. Dusty-B says:

    Someone once said, what we think of ourselves is what we will think of others. Maybe, we need to (in God’s way) love ourselves first??

  51. Lively says:

    Regina, Thank you! That was the verse I was looking for.

    Dusty – So much easier said, then done. A child’s book, that I love, “You are Special” by Max Lucado (sorry if that is spelled wrong!) is a great story that adults should read.

  52. rxman says:

    Love is such a hard word to define and it can mean different things to different people. I often wonder just what Jesus meant when He used the word love. I’m sure it was in the agape sense, but even that can have so many flavors to it.

    Are we left to decide just what love is? I know love is gentle, kind, etc.,but how much love do we give? All of these can be taken to the nth degree but I think that would be out of balance.

    Not as simple as it seems, or am I making it harder that it has to be.

  53. Dusty-B says:

    Actions demonstrate love. Jesus died on the cross as the ultimate showing of His love for us. So, could we say the more we do for others the more we love?

  54. xrgarza says:

    RX, XR here, hmmm I’ve thought of that myself,can we actually be extreme in our love? I then had to go to the one that I serve and try to understand His example on the cross. Did He go to far?

    The Bible says that a servant is not greater than His master. He love all of the Charles Manson’s of the world so much that He died for them.

    Wow! Can I do that? Should I do that? The Apostle Paul said the things that I want to do, I don’t do, and the things that I don’t want to do, I end up doing.

    I think when we compare ourselves to our standard which is Christ we don’t even come close.

    Deb, thank you sweetie/sister/neighbor I love you/ I Agape you.

    Lively, that sounds like a good book I just may pick one up today.


  55. Mart De Haan says:


    Gaylord says he used David Bercot’s A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs that is billed as “A Reference Guide to More than 700 Topics Discussed by the Early Church Father.” He says Bercot combed more than 10,000 pages written by the Early Church Fathers (i.e. between 125-325 AD) and cataloged what he found under 700 topics.

    He says on page 34 that he was stunned to find nothing.

    In appendix C of his book he says that later he did his own in depth reading of the church fathers and found 6 direct references to Jesus’ command to love one another as he loved us. He says one was in Clement of Alexandria. Four were in the writings of Cyprian. He found one in a 3rd century “Apostolic Teaching and Constitution”.

    In addition, he does say in this appendix that he did find numerous references to “loving one another” but without direct reference to Jesus’ “New Command” or “My Command”.

    Seems as though his point is not so much that no one talked about “loving one another” but rather that there was a remarkable silence about the emphasis that our Lord himself gave to this central point of his teaching.

    Hope that additional helps…

  56. poohpity says:

    Isn’t it sad that we may have to have a book to show us how to love. Oh wait, we do, the bible. To consider the needs of someone just like you would care for yourself, your children and your friends by seeking the highest good for them. Sometimes love means withholding things also if it does not benefit the other person in some way. Looking at the way the Lord treated people we have a good role model for love. He at times denied His very own desires so that it would benefit the human race or His neighbor.

    Love is selfless.

  57. poohpity says:

    Whatever we fill our minds with we will do. If we fill them with the ugly that we see we will do that that is why Paul said, Phil.4:8 8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

    I think people have veered away from love because one tends to get hurt and then people are on guard to give it out. If we look only to the source which is God then no matter how much we get hurt it is God who will heal us then we would not be frightened to give it out.

  58. xrgarza says:

    Mart very interesting, a little deep but very enlightenning.

    As scripture was quoted earlier that when we respond to the needs of the less fortunate we are doing it unto Him. And we are loving Him by doing so.

    Hmm, taking a leave of absence from work to help care for my mother, I thought it would only be for a week or two, its been over a month.

    When I chose to take the time off I didn’t see it as doing it for love but simply that I had a responsibility.

    I’ve always said to truly love someone one has to be more than willing to be inconvenience.

    After reading all of these post and this topic, it brings me great joy to know that I am loving my heavenly father as a result of my response/actions.

    Not to mention that this kind of love feels a lot like a responsibility.


  59. poohpity says:

    Rocky, remember when Jesus admonished the religious leaders for putting their tithes in yet they neglected caring for their aged parents. What you are doing is wonderful in the site of the Lord. Matthew 15:5,6

  60. xrgarza says:


    Yes He did, “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worst than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 5:8

    I am so humbled, because that is not the reason I did it for, I simply don’t want the bragging rights.

    Halleluiah, my father died after ten days of not eating, I can’t imagine thirty-five, but you know Jesus fasted for forty days, it would be awesome that if after forty days He would totally heal her.

    We’ll just have to wait and see.


  61. Regina says:

    Good Afternoon, Fellow Bloggers, :-)

    You’re welcome, Lively!


  62. xrgarza says:

    Good afternoon Regina,

  63. pegramsdell says:

    Hey guys, I am finally online at home. Praise God!

    And Rocky, it’s okay to get praise from man. You are doing a good thing. And I hope God heals her.

  64. xrgarza says:

    Peg, thanks and same here. According to all of the nurses that have spoken with us, she is breaking all kinds of records, she’s a strong lady.

    Its tough seeing her like this, I prayed tonight Lord hear my cry and heal my mother here with me or there with you, but I don’t want to see my mother go through this. I pray that I am not being selfish.


  65. scout1 says:


    I like the movie “Time changers”. It brings out the point that when Jesus said something -it was said with authority. So, if the historical church fathers talked about “love one another” and left out the “Jesus said, Love one another”, the authority is not there. It really does remind me of a kid and his mother. You know, when the sister/brother says, “Get ready for dinner” the other sibling ignores that request. However, if the sister/brother says, “MOM says get ready for dinner” -the authority gets added in!

    Recognizing the Lords’ authority and commands to love seem more solid because of His power and position. Then you add a willingness to obey with the help of the Lord, we can love Him with our obedience and love others with His love flowing through us.

    Just a thought.

  66. xrgarza says:


    What a concept, I like that I wonder if that will still work at our age, I’m going to try it on my brother.


  67. Mart De Haan says:

    And when we add (and accept) the Lord’s words, “as I have loved you” … our hearts are softened…

  68. scout1 says:

    Mart –

    Wow! “our hearts are softened”… thanks! :)

  69. poohpity says:

    I was thinking that sometimes it is so easy to try and obey all the rules it gives us an attitude of earning (entitled) because we then think the behavior is so good. I think that is why Jesus always made a point to direct those who thought they were obeying (Pharisees, etc.) to the truth of what was meant by real Godly love, the type that one lays down their life for another.

  70. Grace48 says:

    Love. Such a small word, only 4 letters long. Those words Mart quoted,:”as I have loved you” from Jesus are so powerful when we look to Him and the cross and what He did for us. Until I was 48 years old, I had such a hard time accepting that love. Abused people can distrust love, that I’d learned from so much past abuse. But until I was 48, I didn’t realize why I’d been holding even Jesus and His love at “arm’s length”. Figured He just tolerated me, but… It’s kind of mystery how Jesus and His love broke through my walled up heart, but He did andit was focusing on Him and the cross. I have so much to learn about loving and being loved, but with a softened heart because of Jesus it’s possible with all of God’s help.

  71. poohpity says:


    I have not read any other scripture that was such a solid demand of Christ as was quoted in John 13:34;15:12 “I demand you to love one another as I have loved you”. Are there any others that Jesus beyond a shadow of a doubt demanded of us?

  72. poohpity says:

    oops!! Other than to love God with all that we are.

  73. saled says:

    Mart, thank you for the extra info. My interest is in how our beliefs and traditions may have been more influenced by men than by Jesus. I love the simplicity in believing in the name of the son of God and loving one another. So often I’ve been distracted by controversy over something much less important.

  74. pegramsdell says:

    Grace48, I know how you feel. Especially if the abuse comes from your father or a male figure in your life. It is that much harder to trust The Lord, (Our Father). What’s amazing is that you can. Thank You Jesus! for breaking through when no one else could.

  75. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Your Idea of producing a magazine for only good things is playing on my mind and I wonder if it what I am meant to do.
    I am already involved in helping people sort out political problems like when a house is knocked down in our conservation area etc. and the authorities allow ugly new builds, also try and help people and lobby for affordable housing etc.
    But the idea of this magazine is very good. I am thinking on the lines of a website where people could share what God has done for them and miracles that take place. This could then be compiled into some kind of sharing mag. that could then be published as a “Good News” paper.
    I have friends in publishing who produce a magazine called “Cornish World” and is distributed throughout the known “English speaking” world, so maybe can get help with production and distribution.

    My heart goes out to you. I found it so difficult when my mother was ill as she never showed any affection or stuff during her life and it was hard for me to kiss her etc.
    So I always fill a little guilty that I did not do the bests for her at the end.
    It sounds to me that you are standing by her and loving her and that can only be honouring her.

    As an aside, I see that the Healthcare Bill was passed by the house last night(UK time) without ref. to state funded abortions etc. lets hope and pray only good will come from this.


  76. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Sorry, even using a spell checker I get it wrong “fill” = “feel”

  77. Mart De Haan says:

    poohpity, I’m trying to figure out as well how to give the right emphasis to our Lord’s command in John 13:34 and 15:12,17 without diminishing anything else he said.

    So far it does seem that Jesus has lifted up this command above all others just as it seems that by this one command all of his other counsel/teaching/commands are enriched, lifted up, and deepened in meaning.

  78. Bill B says:

    For the record it is Bill in Boston, not to be confused with the other Bill B that posts on this site.
    I had stated last week about loving our brother and I noticed someone questioning if our “brother” had to be Christian?
    We are all brothers in Christ. It’s just some of us have not found Him as yet. It is our responsibility to see that they do find Him. “I demand you to love one another as I have loved you”.John 13:34;15:12 That does not mean that we get to pick and choose. I have (had) a friend that would not associate with Jews, Agnostics,or any other non-Christian. It is our WORK here on earth to spread the Word and tell all people about Christ. God expects us to do this…
    As far as Love. I Love my sons even though there has been little to no communication with them for some time. I love them with all my heart. I do not like their actions..bur I ask (and pray) God every day that He show them the way to live as Christians. I use to get Love and like confused. I can Love All people today but not like what they are doing. Remember actions speak louder than words. It is up to me to talk and walk like a Christian setting good example (Not Easy!)…

  79. Lively says:

    Mart – why would John 13 and 15 commands to love diminish anything else that Jesus teaches us through scripture? Jesus said he came to fulfill the law – specifically look at John 15:25 where he states, “But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason” When you take into account that the preceding verse is the command to love one another it seems to me that it is Love that completes the Law.

    Here’s my point of view on it, “no branch can bear fruit by itself, it must remain on the vine” (John 15:4). What good is a vine without branches? The vine can’t bear fruit without them. The law without love was fruitless; we were still separated from God. Jesus came in love, He taught love, He is the standard, the stock root so to speak, of love. Now the branches can bear fruit without “outside” assistance. Matthew 7:24-27 speaks of those who build their homes on rock and those that build on sand. Could love be the rock and the house is the law? (Consider what the world would be like if everyone loved each other as he loved himself, we would be incapable of committing evil towards one another.) If so, then the command to love *all* would be the foundation of all the commands – not greater than all the other things that Jesus has for us to learn. Alone, love is empty; it would be fruitless if it existed in a vacuum.


  80. Lively says:

    I debated on commenting about other’s remarks about the healthcare bill. I am troubled by it, it is splitting us as a nation and with the passage as it stands now, I know my tax money will be used for abortions. It has become an issue of contention within the Christian community.

    I pray good will come out of it, I pray it will further God’s plan and is God’s will. I pray that Steve will come back to the blog, I miss his insights and views.

  81. xrgarza says:


    It would have been extremely difficult had I not gone to the Lord two years ago, like I mentioned at the beginning of this Blog, for years I was not able to buy a birthday card, mothers day card, Easter, Christmas card because there were no cards that said anything about how I saw and felt about my mother.

    I feel bad for my older brother, because he is the one that is going to struggle the most, when we first told him that our mother was in this condition, all of his bad childhood memories surfaced, now he can’t bring himself to come and visit her because of all the hurt and pain. He recently has started calling her though.

    This is the stuff the children of Israel struggled with and the very reason a couple of generations never made it into the promise land.

    Can’t we just get along? ~ Rodney King

    I understood that when I read fill it meant feel.


  82. pegramsdell says:

    Bill B (in Boston), I feel the same way about my children. I don’t like what some of them are doing or the way they are acting, but I love them with all my heart. And I pray for them everyday. And I try to set a good example as well. If Christianity doesn’t work for me, why would they be interested? I am having a blast as a Christian, more joy than I have ever thought was possible.

  83. poohpity says:

    Mart the emphasis on love by Jesus makes all the other things he said make sense. It is hard because it makes us take a better look within to see if our actions are done out of a spirit of love or out of control and manipulation. If Love is the foremost emphasis that may be then why Jesus went further with if one even has anger for another He has committed murder in his heart and other directions He gave.

    It all seems so simple but when one really considers the motive why we do things it may in fact not be love as the reason. Or does it matter what the motive is as long as we do loving things? I think it does because Jesus always mentions the heart in the actions. It was hard for Jesus to go to the Cross because of the pain He would have to go through but two things were more important to Him the Love of the Father and the love of us.

  84. poohpity says:

    Wow, I was looking back at the comments and for the first time in a long time we have pretty much stayed on topic. I guess love is quite a topic to focus on.

  85. Mart De Haan says:

    I think you’re right. Without motive of faith, hope, and primarily love… we’re told that good actions profit us nothing (on our day of accounting to the Lord (?))… even if we happen to help someone else in the process.

  86. pegramsdell says:

    Yes Mart, people who did and said things in Jesus’ Name were told that He didn’t even know them. They had their own agenda, not His.

  87. foreverblessed says:

    Just came back from a holiday, I read a book someone gave me: God calling, by two listeners, edited by A.J.Russel.
    It is a devotional, and it struck me how much it was emphasized that we should love our fellow man.
    And be happy.

    And that it could only come from us being one with our Father. Go back into the rest, untill you are at rest in Jesus, and then go out and do things. Be attached like the branches to the vine, and then the love and happinsess will flow through us to others we come in contact with.
    Just liked to share this, did not read much yet.

  88. poohpity says:

    The other day a man I had already given a bible to asked for one for his mother-n-law who wanted one. In my heart I was angry with this man because of how I saw him treating someone else and told him that only one bible per family which before I had given one to a mother and a daughter. The Lord had something different in mind for me to do. Before I got out of the car the Lord put it on my heart about the mom and daughter and He was the one who judges, my job was to give bibles to those who asked for them which really convicted me. Even though at first my thoughts of anger stopped the love of the Lord from shinning forth and even went as far as a lie by the time I got myself out of my car I said to the Lord, forgive me and then gave the bible to him for his mom-n-law. So was it done in love because I first said no then realized I was wrong and then did the right thing? Sometimes doing the right thing says to put aside our judgment and criticism stepping out in faith or love when we may not feel like it.

  89. Regina says:

    Hello Fellow Bloggers, :-)

    Bob (NC)-
    No problem. I’m glad you clarified what you meant by that statement. I’m also glad that you know Jesus is real.:-) So many people don’t know Him yet, and some people know things about Him but they reject Him as deity (the Son of God). We are so BLESSED to know Him and to know that He has the power to totally transform lives!

    “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”(2 Cor. 5:17, NKJV). Our lives are worth living because of Him. Jesus is the best friend I’ve ever had! …hope you’re having a good day. —R.

  90. Regina says:


    You’re right. It’s very challenging to put aside our judgment and criticism and respond with faith in God and the love of Jesus. Especially, when we don’t feel like doing it. I was offended by an acquaintance recently. I trusted on a level that I shouldn’t have, and I discovered (because of a very distasteful offense towards me) that this person did not have good character.

    Because of that incident, I made the decision to not have anything to do with the person. I did not consult the Lord in regards to how I should handle the situation. Long story short, I ended up leaving a temporary job because of that incident. If I had of responded with prayer and love, maybe there would have been a different outcome.

    One of my top five goals in life is to seek counsel and direction from the Holy Spirit in any and every situation, and to obey Him even when I don’t feel like it. —R.

  91. poohpity says:

    So what I was asking because of the feeling I had was it done in love if love is a feeling? What do you think?

  92. bubbles says:

    Help here. Couldn’t find the reference for the following verses: To put it in a nutshell, the verses say anyone can love those who show love to us. However, we are to love those who DO NOT show love to us. . . easy to read. Hard to do.

    Sometimes , I believe, our mind knows what is right, but the heart is wanting to do otherwise. Self-control kicks in when we make ourselves do right, even though one may want to do the opposite–James says he that knoweth to do good, and DOETH it not, to him that is sin.

    Seems like once one does do the right thing, it will help our heart get in the right place because we can see what a blessing it was to the receiver. And,the next time, it will help our attitude be correct.

  93. bubbles says:

    So sometimes, it looks like love from a human standpoint must be a choice, not just a warm fuzzy feeling. Feelings can be irrational at times.

  94. Regina says:

    Love is not a feeling, it’s an action.

    “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NIV).

    God “loved,” therefore He “gave.”

    “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13, NIV).

    This verse lets us know that “love” provokes “action.”


  95. Regina says:


    I wanted to respond further to your comment… I think you responded in “love” because you acted on what you felt in your heart. I’m sure there have been times when the Lord put a good thought in our mind (or someone’s mind) to do a kind act on behalf of someone else. But, for whatever reason, we didn’t act on it.

    The devil isn’t going to tell us to do something kind for someone. …to give someone something with no ulterior motives. Every good gift and every perfect gift comes from above—from God (James 1:17). So, we know good thoughts/feelings come from God.


  96. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Awake at 3:30 am. UK time, tell me?
    Was looking at the statement above about motives and felt that little voice inside say that although motive matters and we should be doing all things in love, even when sometimes we do stuff and question whether we are being manipulative(sorry no spell check) or not, the fact we question our motives is “good enough” as far as God is concerned and He can use that act for His good.
    Just a thought! If we had to be in the right frame of mind and spirit before we spoke or acted nothing would ever get done.
    Another aside! I was impressed by Barack Obamas speach after the vote. It has taken nearly a centry for you as a nation to reform healthcare? Shame on you!

  97. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    sorry, I didn’t mean the “shame on you!” as a curse.
    God said to bless and curse not.
    You are a great people and don’t ever let that be taken away from you!


  98. tu4shore says:

    Jesus was in no way excluded nonbelievers from His love and neither should we. John 3:16 refers to the whole world, not just Christians. The good Samaritan also illustrates inclusion. Sermon on the mount, love your enemies. Matthew 25 about the sheep and the goats – judgment day 34″Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ …. visit any prisoners lately? When the poor on the freeway ramp ask do you give freely as He commands?

  99. Lively says:

    Regina –

    You underestimate the devil if you think he won’t have you do a kindness to futher evil

  100. poohpity says:

    tu4shore, The answer is yes.

    Lively, but the Lord can turn all things to good Romans 8:28 for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.

  101. lee.rose says:

    hi all, just want to share something. the verse Gal 5:14 “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” in Indonesia the word ‘neighbor’ is translated as ‘others’. i always wonder why it is said ‘neighbor’ in English which i thought it means the people who lives in our neighborhood (please correct me if i’m wrong).
    But i got to this thinking, if we had a neighbor who lives next door, and we can’t show love to them as God commanded us too, then how can we go out to the world and love others, whether the person we work with or a complete stranger who needs to hear about God’s love from us.
    But, sometimes it is hard just to follow the command, but that’s what distinguish God’s people from others.

  102. foreverblessed says:

    Yes, love others as yourself.
    Others: Everybody you come in contact with.
    And the verse Pooh cited out of Phil 4:8, we can use for others as well:
    See the good in others, the fine things the nice things.

    What we do naturally is seeing the wrong things in others, the ugly things.
    It takes some disciplining ourselves to do that. We get irritated by the ugly things, instead of immediately sharing with God what hinders us in other people, so He can take our burden of having to cope with difficulties in people. No, we inhale the bad and are far away from God so that He cannot even help us, because of our irritation.
    It also helps if we try more to put to death our old self. We will not be easily offended anymore.
    Some have written it too: We are a new creation.

    Lively, yes I saw the poetry! Go on with it.

  103. Regina says:

    Good Afternoon Fellow Bloggers, :-)


    I wasn’t saying that the devil can’t have someone do something good as part of his plot to do evil. I was trying to say that “true” good, with no ulterior motive(s), comes from God.


  104. Lively says:

    Regina, I think I was reminding myself that as much as anything else :-) Forgive me if I sounded short, I didn’t intend to be, but when I reread I think it could have been taken that way.

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