Christ's Perfect Love
Bible Reading: 1 Peter 2:21-25
Christ, who suffered for you, is your example. Follow in his steps. 1 Peter 2:21
DOES IT EVER bother you that Jesus lived a perfect life of love and you don’t? Do you sometimes shake your head at yourself and sigh, “What’s the use? I’ll never measure up to Christ’s example”?
Don’t be discouraged. Christ is perfect in everything, including his love for the Father and for each of us. But even though he encourages us to follow his example (see 1 Peter 2:21), he understands our weaknesses and forgives our imperfection. John wrote about this contrast: “I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if you do sin, there is someone to plead for you before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who pleases God completely” (1 John 2:1).
God’s standard for us is Jesus’ perfection (see Ephesians 4: 13), and he is at work making us over into the image of his Son (see Romans 8:29; Philippians 2:13). One day we will be just like Jesus (see 1 John 3:2). Until then, we will always be in the process of learning to love God and others like Jesus loved.
First, Jesus loved without discrimination. Jesus spent time with everyone who came to him, even misfits and outcasts. He was at home with both the wealthy and the poor. He ministered to prostitutes, dishonest tax collectors, Roman soldiers, and stuffy Jewish religious leaders. Jesus shows how you can look past physical, cultural, and socioeconomic differences to see every person as someone worth loving.
Second, Jesus loved without conditions. He loved people whether or not they accepted him as Messiah and Lord. He showed the same concern for Judas as the other disciples (see John 6:70-71; 17: 12). He prayed for those who crucified him (see Luke 23:34). Jesus shows how to love people not because they love you, know you, or care about you at all but because everyone needs God’s love-and yours.
Third, Jesus loved without measure. Paul prayed we would “have the power to understand … how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is” (Ephesians 3: 18). Why bother to understand the greatness of Christ’s love? Because only then will your love grow wide and long and high and deep enough to meet the love needs of people around you.
REFLECT: How does grasping Christ’s great love help you love the way you wish you could?
PRAY: Jesus, I can’t love as perfectly as you do, but I want to grow in my love for God and others. Thanks for being my example.
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