The quality that distinctively sets apart believers as followers of Jesus is not a pithy bumper sticker or a fish emblem dangling from a necklace or a gilded dove pinned on the lapel. These are only symbols of our faith. The true mark of a Christian is love.
Jesus told His disciples to love one another “as I have loved you” (John 13:34). That wouldn’t be so hard if the love Jesus displayed was primarily the write-a-cheque or call-once-a-month kind of love. But Jesus set the bar immeasurably high. Jesus’s kind of love touched the skin of a leper and washed the feet of a soon-to-be betrayer. He didn’t mind interruption by another’s demands, even those of a person all others disdained. Jesus had the uncanny ability to look straight into a person’s soul to see the deepest need there.
Is that an impossible example to follow? You bet it is! That’s why God sent the Holy Spirit to live inside us and empower us with His supernatural love. Only when “plugged in” to that power will His followers stand out in their treatment of others and of one another. Then people will take notice and say, “My, how they love one another!” Let these resources set you on the path of loving with the Saviour’s love.
There is something extra special about February. Valentine’s Day. Hearts and flowers. A fresh and needed reminder that there is still a heart-shaped vacuum in the human breast that only the three most wonderful words in the English language can fill.
Jesus confronted the very thing I’m most afraid of: being rejected for being your authentic self. In the face of unbelief, Jesus stood firm. He was confident in His person and certain of what was true.
We may take God as He really is or reject Him on the same basis, but the one opinion not open to us is to create Him as we’d like Him to be. He is and has always been the God of love and justice in both the Old and New Testaments.
In the words of Ephesians 4:32, be kind. My sister Luci paraphrases this verse, “Just be nice."
Doing acts of kindness feels great as well as it makes the world or another person’s day a bit better. So I wonder why being kind isn’t second nature to me.
Christ died for us to give us eternal life. How can we not show grace and compassion to others knowing this? Compassion is a direct result of accepting Christ into our hearts.
Thinking about the New Testament and its focus on acting on our faith has prompted conviction in my heart. There is so much more I could be doing but don’t because of laziness, fear, and selfishness.
Being marginalized does not make anyone better or worse than anyone else—just different. In His sovereignty and providence, and for reasons unknown to us, God determines differences.