From “Discipleship and Discipline” by William H. Hicks, copyright March, 2005:
““CHAPTER FOUR: The Love of Disciples: The Key to Release God’s Power In Our Lives”

““Dear children, how brief are these moments before I must go away and leave you! Then, though you search for Me, you cannot come to Me—just as I told the Jewish leaders. So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are My disciples.”

These words of the Lord, some of the most poignant He ever uttered, come just after Judas Iscariot has left the upper room to seek out the Pharisees and Sadducees to whom he would betray the Lord. In a tender and touching way, the Lord recites His living legacy to all disciples: “Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” This goes deeper into the second element of the greatest commandment, which states, “love your neighbor as yourself.” Here, the Lord commands His disciples to love each other as He has loved them. Later, in John 15, Jesus explains the implications of this command. The Lord observes to His disciples that “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”

Jesus makes clear that our love for Him and for each other is tied inextricably to our obedience to His Word. Moreover, by no other means is His Father glorified than by our faithful obedience to His Word and by no greater means is our love for each other so fully manifested than faithful adherence to His Word. In addition, our joy is dependent upon our abiding in His love. Joy is something to be experienced most fully when it is shared. Jesus’ joy is made fuller by His sharing it with us. Our joy is most full when we share it with each other.””

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