35By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:31-35)
This is an amazing statement by Jesus! The distinguishing characteristic of a Christian, according to the Head of all Christendom, is our love for one another. This doesn’t appear to be common knowledge in the church today. Possessing true love for other believers isn’t a top priority for most Christians. Yet Jesus said that this is the number-one thing that will show unbelievers that He’s real and alive in us today.
The body of Christ has invested vast amounts of money and effort to reach the lost. We’ve built fancy churches, padded the seats, and air-conditioned the auditoriums to attract more people. We’ve traveled around the world and held mass crusades. Yet our love for each other, which Jesus said would represent Him the best, is lacking or non-existent. We have bumper stickers on our cars but no love in our hearts.
The first-century church didn’t have tapes, books, or videos. Neither did they put bumper stickers on every camel that crossed the desert. They met in homes without the benefit of radio or television, but they made a tremendous impact on their world with the Gospel. How could this be? They had God’s kind of love for Him and for each other.
Jude spoke of the early church meetings as being “feasts of charity” (Jude 1:12). Love abounded and so did the Gospel—and there’s a direct relationship between the two. Choose to be a living advertisement for the Gospel today. As you allow His love to shine through for your brothers and sisters as well as the lost, unbelievers will know that Jesus is alive in you.