“Everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).
The distinguishing mark of a Christian is not a cross, a crucifix, a dove, or a fish on a bumper sticker. The sign of a Christian is love. How many people know you’re a Christian because of your loving lifestyle?
We sing about love, talk about love, pray about love, and study love. But do we do it? To develop love as your life principle and make it your greatest aim, you have to take some action as soon as you finish reading this devotional. You’re going to have to take the initiative. Love acts!
First, start acting loving in your current relationships. Have you acted unlovingly toward someone, and it’s time to seek reconciliation? Make things right with your kids, your spouse, your boyfriend or girlfriend, your parents, or someone at school or work.
Then, start increasing the number of relationships you have. If the most important aim in life is to love, we need to build as many relationships as possible. Why? Because the world will know about God’s love by the way we love each other—and especially by the way they are loved by Christians.
You cannot live a loving lifestyle as a hermit. You spell love T-I-M-E. It takes time to love other people. If you love your friends, you’ve got to spend time with them. If you love your kids, you’ve got to spend time with them. If you love Jesus, you’ve got to spend time with him. Love always costs time and energy. But it’s always worth it.
Can you imagine what would happen if everyone in the church loved like this—if we all committed ourselves to acting in love and giving our time unselfishly so that people could experience a taste of how much God loves them? It would change the world. It would grow God’s Kingdom. It would make God so happy.
People are attracted to Christ more than they are persuaded to him. They’re attracted by the love of God shown through the people who claim to follow him. And they won’t care what we know until they first know that we care.