Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Christians Love One Another, Part 1

Chuckle: (Church Bulletin Blooper) "This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn sing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin."
Quote: “Love is the beauty of the soul.” --Saint Augustine of Hippo

Jesus said to His disciples, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:34-35 NIV).
A genuine Christian is: (1) One in whom the Spirit of Jesus Christ dwells; (2) One whose life the Holy Spirit controls; and (3) One through whom Christ is revealed to others. In the next few lessons, we will consider loving one another as a unmistakable mark of Christians -- the "Love Mark." In John 13:33, Jesus was saying, "I'm not going to be with you very long, so I want to tell you something very important." Then he gave this new command about loving one another.
Throughout history, Christians have used symbols, or marks, to describe their faith. One of the oldest symbols is the "fish," which refers to Jesus Christ. This symbol is prevalent today. Many have it on their cars to identify themselves as Christians. However, the best known symbol is the empty cross -- it's everywhere. But Jesus gave us one symbol that every Christian ought to wear and that every unbeliever should see us wearing -- the "Love Mark" should characterize every believer. The way we love one another identifies us as Christians. "Love comes from God and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God" (I John 4:7 NIV). The evidence that our faith is genuine is our love for each other.
Loving one another was not a new commandment; but loving one another as Jesus loves us was new and revolutionary. It's the kind of love Jesus modeled when He gave Himself for us. Now we are to love others based on Jesus sacrificial love for us. Such love will not only draw unbelievers to Christ, but it will also keep believers strong and united in a world hostile to God. Jesus was a living and breathing example of God's love. Now we are to be living examples of His love.
Jesus made a bold statement -- that our Christ-like love for others will prove that we belong to Him and are his disciples. Do the people around you see such love in your life? Loving like Jesus is much more than simply warm and fuzzy feelings toward someone -- it is an attitude that is revealed by our actions. It is not expressed solely in words, but by what we do that benefits others.
 Love, Jerry & Dotse


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