Bible Study Holy Week – Day 5: Maundy Thursday: This Is Love

Holy Week – Day 5: Maundy Thursday: This Is Love

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
-1 John 4:10–12

The word “Maundy” comes from the Latin “mandatum,” meaning commandment. This is in reference to the new commandment of love Jesus gave to his disciples: “Love one another.”

And we love because God loved us first. It’s not that we loved God and therefore searched him out and discovered that he loved us too. No, long before we ever had any interest in him, he had his eye on us and loved us with an everlasting love.

And it wasn’t because we were so irresistibly lovable either.

If God had waited for us to become lovable enough before he loved us, he’d still be waiting. From the beginning till this day, his love was and is based upon his character, not ours. What John is saying is that since this is true, we ought to love one another even if “they” aren’t so warm and fuzzy.

It’s this love for one another that signals to the world around us that something real is happening in our midst. People know that others aren’t always so easy to love, and usually we treat them just as they deserve. So when the Christian does something so astounding as to show love to the unlovely, it gets attention.

In fact, this is probably the principal way people learn that God’s people have something you can’t find anywhere else. When they see us loving one another, they know from their own experience that the unusual is taking place.

It wasn’t the church’s doctrines that first gained the attention of the Roman world, but the love found among the Christians—not just for one another, but for others as well. The first Christians loved even the ones who mistreated and persecuted them.

Such love isn’t optional. It’s not just something we can be doing while we’re waiting around—it’s the central requirement and identifying characteristic of the real church. With it our lives will make a lasting impact, and without it nothing else we do will make the slightest difference.

With love, God’s love is made complete in us. So when we’re praying, let’s ask for the impossible: real, tangible, measurable love for one another.

Today’s Prayer

Father, I cannot love the way you want me to love unless you grant me the power to do so. Fill me with your Spirit and power every day for the rest of my life. I pray in the name of Jesus who loved us first, Amen.

Today’s Commitment

Today I let go of any anger or bitterness and commit to love by…


Photo by David Weber on Unsplash
About author

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Born and raised in California, John I. Snyder is an international pastor, conference speaker, and Amazon bestselling author of Sheltered With God: Finding God’s Peace in a World of Fear, Resenting God: Escape the Downward Spiral of Blame from Abingdon Press, and Your 100 Day Prayer: The Transforming Power of Actively Waiting on God from Thomas Nelson Publishers. Pastor John received his Master of Theology and Master of Divinity degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey, and he received his Doctor of Theology degree magna cum laude in New Testament Studies from the University of Basel, Switzerland. He has pastored and planted churches in California, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, and Switzerland, training pastors and leaders in evangelism, prayer, outreach, and building healthy churches. Pastor John is host of the podcast The Walk on Theology Mix. The Walk is about our faith walk, the way we live out our faith in our daily life. It brings together conversations of faith from all aspects with writers, pastors, friends, musicians, entrepreneurs, and others. Inspiring guests include Max McLean, Norman Stone, Major General John Gronski, George Barna, Dr. John Lennox, the Rev. Anthony Thompson, R.C. Sproul, Jr., Dr. Judith Briles, and more. He has been featured on Focus on the Family, Moody Radio, Fox News, Faith Radio Network, Cru, American Family Radio Network, In the Market with Janet Parshall, The Bottom Line with Roger Marsh, Miracle Channel, Bill Martinez Live, and many more. Pastor John is married to his beautiful wife, Shirin, and together they refer to their two children as their “most precious treasures and best gifts from God.”

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