There are a number of Christian authors who have written on the subject matter of what the believer’s ultimate mandate is here on earth. For instance, Laconia D. Dunn wrote about the call to serve as the believer’s mandate in the Church. Also, Peter C. Moore talked about the great commission as the ultimate mandate and the need for all Christians to take seriously the business of soul winning. While this article is not to discredit what these two great authors and many others might have said, but rather to bring into lime light another important believer’s mandate which cannot be overlooked. This mandate I am talking about is the heart-beat of the father (God), it is boundless and endless, and does not confine itself inside the four walls of any one church. It has been talked about in the past, it is still relevant for the moment, and its relevance will continue into eternity. Preachers, teachers of God’s word, ministers and anyone that has had the cause to handle God’s word at one point or the other have had one reason or the other to talk about it. What then is this believer’s ultimate mandate?
John 3:16 is a popular bible passage that we all have known since childhood. My first attempt at learning this important bible verse was in my primary school days when the Bible Society of Nigeria (BSN) came to distribute to us a mini, blue-covered New Testament bible containing psalm and proverbs from the Old Testament only. I remember the content of the verse was translated into more than sixteen languages which read “for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (KJV). As simple as this scripture is to the eyes, there are unimaginable depths that are embedded in it. God’s love toward mankind is absolutely unconditional. In actual facts, Christ’s death covers those who are even yet to recognize him as their personal Lord and Savior. That shows the generosity of God’s love towards us.
However, the above fact about God and His love is not the end. There is actually reciprocity of love that God also expects from us as His children. This is what I tagged in this article as the believer’s ultimate mandate 1 John 3:16-17 has this to say hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren (KJV). First and foremost, it was God Himself that first demonstrated this kind of love toward us. He had only a son and he prefer to give Him for the redemption of mankind - what an awesome love that is. Jesus also, did not possess two lives. He had just only one life, just like you and me today; but chose to lay it down for our justification. No wonder he said in John 15:13 that “greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends”.Is it not amazing that Jesus even called us his friends why we were still sinners? The truth is this; nobody took Jesus’ life, but rather; he laid it down by Himself for you and me.
Therefore, the believer’s ultimate mandate is that he or she must also love unconditionally. God succinctly put it this way in John 13:34 that “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” (KJV). One of the ways by which God measures your love towards him is by showing love to your neighbour. As Christ loved us unconditionally, so also must we as believers love one another. Notice from the above scriptures that God called it a commandment and not a new advice. What it then means is that loving for a believer is not an option. You cannot love today and decide not to love tomorrow. Whether it is convenient for us or not, we must love every one as Christ loved us. You could be having some terrible co-tenants as neighbors, your colleagues at work may be some pain in the back, your husband or wife may be so unloving; and no matter the circumstances, love is not an option to us as children of God.
Finally, there is no harm in loving. True security comes from showing love towards people around us. As Christmas approaches, make it a point of duty to exhibit God’s love. There will be peace in the World if each and every individual will embrace this new commandment that the father has given us. Thank you for reading and have a splendid Christmas celebration in love.