Day 2: Love – How People Know We’re the Real Deal
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“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35
How do you know what a disciple of Jesus looks like? Can you tell by how much they go to church? Can you tell by the clothes they wear? Can you tell by how much they give to charity? If you think you can spot a disciple of Jesus by these things, then you’re looking at the wrong stuff.
Jesus knew the one thing that would let people know we were His disciples, and He let us know what that one thing is in John 13:35. He said that others would know we’re really His disciples by our love for one another. Not by the amount of time we spend in prayer, how much we read our Bibles, or by how faithful we are to attend church—but by our love.
Think about what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3. He said that he could do all sorts of excellent things like giving away all of his money, and having faith enough to move mountains, but added that if he didn’t have love, it was all useless. When our actions aren’t based in love, we’re off the mark.
Jesus said similar things:
And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. Matthew 6:5
Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do to be seen by men. Matthew 23:3-5
How many times have you heard a non-believer say that they won’t go to church (or whatever) because Christians are just a bunch of hypocrites? It’s because they’ve heard Christians saying one thing, and then doing another. They hear us quote 1 Corinthians 13 and John 3:16, but then they see us behaving rudely, gossiping, and otherwise acting like jerks. Instead of seeing the power of God operating in our lives because we’re obedient to the Word, they get the idea that it’s just another religion—a pointless, rigid, bondage-filled religion. We shouldn’t be surprised that they don’t want it.
It’s time to repent and get it right! It’s time to make them hungry for what we have, rather than turn their stomachs.
I know, it’s not easy to see the stark truth—but guess what? It’s knowing the truth that sets you free (John 8:32). Repent, ask God where He wants you to start with your “love walk,” and get goin’!
Ask the Father to give you wisdom on how to live your life in such a way that it makes other people curious—that makes them hungry for whatever it is you’ve got. Write down whatever wisdom He gives you, and act on it. Read over some sections of the Gospels and pay close attention to how Jesus dealt with people.