“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34
As Christ’s followers we are commanded to love each other in a special way, though we may not belong to the same local church or denomination or may not agree on certain issues. We must disguise true Christians from those who only pretend to follow Jesus by examining their love for and obedience to Christ and their loyalty to God’s Word.
Any person who has a true and active faith in Jesus Christ and remains loyal to the authority of God’s Word (as revealed by the Holy Spirit through prayer and earnest study of the Bible) is a brother or sister in God’s family. Those who are willing to stand for Christ and resist the popular but ungodly beliefs and behaviors of our day deserve special love and support from one another.
Loving all true Christians, including those outside of our local church or fellowship, does not mean that we must compromise our specific Biblical beliefs or agree totally with their doctrine. While these things should not divide us and prevent us from accomplishing our highest mission of leading others to accept the truth of Christ, we do not necessarily have to agree or come together on all issues of faith and organization.
As Christians we must never comprise God’s holiness for the sake of a false unity. Loving God and his purposes as revealed in his Word will enable us to show God’s love to others-especially to those who believe differently than we do. Love for God must always be the top priority. And lastly all of this should be done because Christ first loved us. In fact Christ loved so much that he was willing to die the death that we should have died, and that is the love that we need to show each other as fellow Christians and to the world.
Today’s Bible Readings:
Joshua 5:1-7:15, Luke 15, Psalm 81:1-16 and Proverbs 13:1