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Thursday of the Commandment

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” John 13:34

Today is Maundy Thursday. The name comes from the Latin mandatum, the first word in the Latin rendering of John 13:34, “A new commandment (mandatum novum) I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” Holy-Thursday-Maundy-Thursday-2015

This commandment was given by Jesus on the Thursday before his crucifixion. So Maundy Thursday is the “Thursday of the Commandment.” This is the commandment: “love one another: just as I have loved you.” But what about Galatians 5:14? “For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” If the whole law is fulfilled in “Love your neighbor as yourself,” what more can “Love one another as Christ loved you” add to the fulfillment of the whole law?

I would say that Jesus did not replace or change the commandment, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” He filled it out and gave it clear illustration. He is saying,

Here is what I mean by “as yourself.” Watch me. I mean: Just as you would want someone to set you free from certain death, so you should set them free from certain death. That is how I am now loving you. My suffering and death is what I mean by ‘as yourself.’ You want life. Live to give others life. At any cost.

So John says, “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. (1 John 3:16). Was Jesus loving us “as he loved himself ”? Listen to Ephesians 5:29–30, “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.”

In the horrors of his suffering, Christ was sustained “who for the joy that was set before him” (Hebrews 12:2). And that joy was the everlasting gladness of his redeemed people, satisfied in the presence of the risen king.

Therefore, let us see the greatest love in action on Maundy Thursday and tomorrow on Good Friday. “having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” (John 13:1). He loved us to the uttermost. And let us be so moved by this love that it becomes our own. “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.(1 John 3:16).

This is the commandment. This is the Thursday.

Love to the Uttermost Devotional Readings for Holy Week
John Piper

Living Your Thanksgiving

Psalm 100 “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into His presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is He who made us, and we are His; we are his people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him; bless His name! For the Lord is good; His steadfast love endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations.
At this time of year, I sit and thank God for giving me everything—to include His son, Jesus Christ.  We want to make such gratefulness as prominent as the giant turkey on the table and see thanksgiving become a way of life.
There’s no better thanksgiving wisdom than that found in God’s Word, specifically The Old One-Hundredth (Psalm 100), “A psalm. For giving thanks.”
Following that, there are many directives listed that can help us live our Thanksgiving …
  • Make a joyful noise to the Lord
  • Come into His presence with singing
  • Know that the Lord, he is God
  • Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise
  • Give thanks to Him; bless His name
  • [Remember] For the Lord is good; His steadfast love endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations.
Reflect on these today, and ask the Lord how He can help you really live your Thanksgiving each day of the year.
Take time to live your Thanksgiving and call or visit someone who is alone or having a hard time (for whatever reason) on this holiday.