Today you should read: 1 John 2:7-11
Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:35 NLT)
I wanted to start with this verse because, even though it is not from our reading today, it really drives home today’s passage. Sadly we hear so many stories of churches splitting or dissolving or working through all sorts of issues because this principle is not in practice in that church body. We have a great church here at center point. We are by no means perfect but one thing I can say we don’t have is a lack of love and concern for one another. Praise God for that.
John is telling us in our reading today that this love, the love one Christ-Follower has for another is a sign that someone is truly a Christ-Follower. That is something I don’t think we consider too often when we question ourselves or others to see if we are truly saved. Most people ask about life-change experiences, their testimony, church involvement, bible reading and prayer, things like that. When was the last time you used loving other Christians as a barometer for faith? Well, John uses it here. He tells us that if we do not love other believers we are not walking in the light, but rather we are walking in the darkness. So examine yourselves this week to see that you are truly walking in the light of Christ. Ask yourself, “Do I love other Christians?” “Do I care for those in my church?” If you answer no then take sometime to figure out why. You are clearly not walking in the light and you may need to step into it for the first time.
Now, back to the beginning. John 13:35 tells us that we show ourselves to be true disciples of Christ to those outside our church by how we love those inside it. Andy Stanley, pastor at North Point Community church in Atlanta has said on a few different occasions at conferences that one of the most effective things the church can do to be a witness to lost people who come in our buildings is to “one another” each other. What he means by that is that we should do, for each other, the things the Bible says we should do. Things like bear one another’s burdens (Gal.6:2), be kind and forgiving to one another (Eph. 4:32), serve one another (Gal. 5:13), pray for one another (James 5:16) and so on. In fact there are over 50 “one another” commands in the Bible and they all center around this one thing:
We show the fullness of the love of Jesus when we extend love to sinners undeserving of such love because we too are a sinner undeserving of the fullness of love we have in Jesus
So this week test yourself and being to love God’s people like never before.
Posted by: Robbie Byrd