Each week we share the reflections of one of our partners in the form of a devotional. This week’s devotional was written by Marshall Dunbar.

The Word:
 “A new command I give you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  John 13:34,35 (NASB)

The Story:
Many people believe love is what you feel when you find that special someone or that it’s in a family setting. The way a mom loves her child or a sister loves her siblings. Within the family setting there are a number of love relationships. Sadly, “love” has lost its value as we overuse it to describe things in our lives. For instance, how one may say, “I love that movie or I love lasagna.” “I love basketball or I love going to the mall”. This is certainly not the type of love Jesus had in mind. Jesus speaks of a love that goes beyond familiar relationships – a love that transcends the norm and expects nothing in return. This is the way Christ loved and continues to love us.

The Reflection:
How do we define love? Is our definition biblically-sound? Do we find ourselves loving only those who love us back? How do we respond when we receive unloving behavior? How did Christ love when others didn’t love Him back?

The Application:
This week, may we begin to seriously consider Jesus’ emphasis on love as an identifier of our walk with Him. Also, let’s commit to evaluating our current relationships with others and draw on this message of love to exercise biblically-defined love where it’s lacking.

The Prayer:
Father, help us understand that we are charged above all to love You and one another as Christ both walked and taught throughout His ministry. We desire to exemplify Christ’s love to all we encounter. With that, fill us with your love, so that we may love out of the overflow of our intentional, intimate, and consistent relationship with You. Amen.