By: Lisa Wilmore
Scripture: A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if ye have love one to another (John 13:34-35 KJV).
Dear saints of God,
What does the world notice when they see our treatment of each other as brothers and sisters in Christ? What characteristics are witnessed when handling the business of our churches? Do they see bickering, jealousy and division among those who have been set apart from the world or do they observe a display of overwhelming love for each other? Well, our christianity is measured by how much we show love toward each other.
With this in mind, people will never know the depth or height of our love until they witness how we treat each other. Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). So, inappropriate confrontations among the members in our churches as well as false accusations and verbal attacks are inexcusable actions for the body of Christ.
In addition, a fact often overlooked by many christians is that our belief in God is proven by our love for one another. Love is more than words or sayings. It is actions. The Bible says in 1John, “Let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions” (1John 3:18NLT).
In the above noted scripture, Jesus instructs his followers to love one another as he has loved them. He gives a new commandment on how to show love; however, the commandment to love was not new. Furthermore, God directs us to love our neighbor as ourselves (Leviticus 19:18). The commandment was modeled by Jesus and must be put into actions by all of us, His followers.
In the final analysis, God is the source of unconditional love which exists and is exemplified in ways beyond our finite understanding of true love. This type of love was also shown when Jesus sacrificed his life for our liberty. He served as a substitute and paid the penalty for our sins. Paul, the apostle, emphasizes that through his death, burial and resurrection, “we have hope that does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:5 NIV).
Christians who love Christ prove their discipleship by their love shown toward others.