Imagine standing in the presence of Christ at the end of your life and hearing Him say, “Well done! I am very pleased. Enter into your reward.” What would give Jesus such pleasure and you such reward? Here is what I think is the best answer to that question: Answering His call to follow Him and live your life for the purpose of loving with Him. There may arguably be some other answers to the question, so let me give you eight reasons for my conclusion that Jesus will say He is pleased and will reward those who live to love with Him. Jesus was not the only one to call His followers to love. Those who were on His “A” team, which included Peter, James, John, and Paul, each also called followers of Jesus to live to love. Furthermore, the gospel writers Matthew, Mark, and Luke also made sure to record what Jesus considered the most important command of God. Let’s start with Jesus’ call to love.
“A new commandment I give to 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).
It seems obvious that these words, uttered by our Lord immediately following the Lord’s last supper with His disciples, made a lasting impression on them. Jesus repeated this new commandment two more times the evening before He was betrayed and taken into custody by those who wanted Him dead. Decide for yourself the impact of His words on His disciples as you read how they later called their readers to live to love with Jesus.
“Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart” (1 Peter 1:22).
“If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing well” (James 2:8).
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8).
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma” (Ephesians 5:1-2).
“‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22:36-39).
“One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, ‘What commandment is the foremost of all?’ Jesus answered, ‘The foremost is, “Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these’” (Mark 12:28-31).
“And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ And He said to him, ‘What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?’ And he answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.’ And He said to him, ‘You have answered correctly; do this and you will live’” (Luke 10:26-28).
As a follower of Christ, you’ve been called to live to love with Jesus
So what do you think about hearing, “Well done!” from Jesus when you meet Him face to face? All of the passages above are testimonies and examples of what pleases the Lord. It is exciting to know that we aren’t left without knowledge about what is important to God. In addition to that, Jesus told us what the reward is going to be for those who live to love—they’ll be filled with His joy. “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full” (John 15:11). Paul echoed the same reward of fullness to those who know His love and love others when he wrote, “And to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19).
Each of the men mentioned above had lived at one time for something other than loving with Jesus. They lived for fishing, money, and religious zeal, just to name a few things that distracted them from God’s purpose for them. All were sinners who had fallen short of God’s glory, but eventually they each came to the same conclusion after meeting Jesus: They were called to lay down their lives and to live to love with Jesus. Then as the Holy Spirit filled and led them, they were faithful to call others to do the same. How about you? What have you been living for, and do you need to make any adjustments as you journey toward your face-to-face appointment with Jesus? As I send out this Chariot, I am praying that the Holy Spirit will speak clearly and powerfully encouraging you to become a more true and faithful witness of His love. May you see His wonderful work in your life this month as you love others with Him.