The True Mark of a Christian

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A Nugget from New Life Network

(by Dr. Larry Ollison, The Cutting Edge)

Scripture for the Day (July 15, 2015)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

In talking about loving others, let’s look at a Scripture passage that is interesting and often overlooked. It says, “Beloved, let us love one another for love is of God and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8). On the surface, that just seems like a couple of nice Bible verses. But let’s look closely at what it says. It says that if we do not love, we do not know God. That’s a powerful statement! Think about it: without love in our hearts we do not know God. When Jesus was talking with His disciples in John 13:34-35, He explained to them how other people would know that they were His disciples. He didn’t give them a gold-embossed certificate that they could display on their office wall saying they had passed the requirements to be a disciple. He didn’t say that they would have a certain type of robe or suit to wear that would set them aside. He told them that the only thing that would set them apart from others, the only thing that would let others know that they were His disciples was this: they would have love for one another.

Sometimes when we think of love, those who lived through the sixties think of hippies walking around in bell bottoms, giving the peace sign and saying, “Love, brother.” Well, that’s not what we are talking about. We are talking about a godly, supernatural love, not the kind of love that comes from ourselves, but the kind of love that can only come from God the Father. This love will cause us to love those who are not lovely and to be more specific, it will cause us to love those who hate us. You may be asking yourself if this love is really as important as I am making it out to be. Well, the answer is, YES! It is extremely important!

Romans 13:8 says, “He who loves another has fulfilled the law.” Remember, the Bible also tells us that “perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). We know faith is important. We are saved through faith. We are healed by the prayer of faith. Anything that is not of faith is sin and Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith, it is impossible to please God. So why am I saying this? Well, as important as faith is, the Bible tells us in First Corinthians 13:2 that we can have all faith, even enough faith that we could move mountains, but if we do not also have love, we are nothing. The last verse of that chapter says, “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (vs. 13).

While we were in sin, God sent His Son Jesus to die for us. Then, God raised Him from the dead so that we who accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior can have eternal life. When we accept Jesus, we become children of God. As His children, we should have the same character as our Father. We should not only love one another, but we should love those who do not deserve it. That’s what God did when He loved us. And when we truly love Him, we can’t help but do the same to others.

For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. (Galatians 5:6)

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