Love Makes the Difference

A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. All men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another. 
–John 13:34-35

As you look at today’s Scripture, think of it in this way: the world has the right to judge whether there is a God or not a God by the way we Christians love each other.

Yes, the world will know us by our fruit. There is no greater witness of God’s love on earth than when Christians love in the same manner as Jesus loves.

Here is how historian Aristides described the Christians to the Roman Emperor Hadrian:

They love one another. They never fail to help widows; they save orphans from those who would hurt them. If they have something, they give freely to the man who has nothing; if they see a stranger, they take him home and are happy, as though he were a real brother. They don’t consider themselves brothers in the usual sense, but brothers instead through the Spirit, in God.*

Aristides was describing the kingdom of God made visible by believers. One of the major duties of every Christian is to make the invisible kingdom of God visible.

1. What will your love for others tell people about you? Why does Jesus make loving one another a commandment?

2. Think about this question, “If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”

1 John 2:7-11, 3:11, Leviticus 19:18, 1 Thessalonians 4:9, 1 Peter 1:22

*Charles Colson, Loving God (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1983), p, 176.

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Jim Burns

Jim Burns is the president of HomeWord. He speaks to thousands of people around the world each year. He has close to 2 million resources in print in 20 languages. He primarily writes and speaks on the values of HomeWord, which are: Strong Marriages, Confident Parents, Empowered Kids, and Healthy Leaders. Some of his most popular books are: Confident Parenting, The Purity Code, Creating an Intimate Marriage, Closer, and Doing Life with Your Adult Children. Jim and his wife, Cathy, live in Southern California and have three grown daughters, Christy, Rebecca, and Heidi; three sons-in-law, Steve and Matt, and Andy; and three grandchildren, James, Charlotte and Huxley.

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    HomeWord helps families succeed by creating Biblical resources that build strong marriages, confident parents, empowered kids and healthy leaders. Founded by Jim Burns, HomeWord seeks to advance the work of God in the world by educating, equipping, and encouraging parents and churches. Learn More »

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