John 13:34, 35 - The Distinguishing Mark of a Christian.

John 13:34, 35 (NIV) A new command I give 
you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so 
you must love one another. By this all men will 
know that you are my disciples, if you love one 


A new commandment ... as I have loved you. 
The commandment to love was not new. Deuteronomy 
6:5 commanded love for God and Leviticus 19:18 
commanded loving one's neighbor as oneself (Matt. 
22:34-40; Rom. 13:8-10; Gal. 5:14; James 2:8). 
However, Jesus' command regarding love presented a 
distinctly new standard for two reasons: 1) it was 
sacrificial love modeled after His love (as I loved You; 
15:13), and 2) it is produced through the New 
Covenant by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit 
(Jer. 31:29-34; Ezek. 36:24-26; Gal. 5:22). 
[MacArthur Daily Bible 2003] 


   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 youre 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. Youre 
going to have to take the initiative. Love acts! 
   First, start acting loving in your 
current relationships. Have you acted unlovingly 
toward someone, and its 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 Gods 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, 
youve got to spend time with them. If you love 
your kids, youve got to spend time with them. 
If you love Jesus, youve got to spend time 
with him. Love always costs time and energy. But 
its 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 Gods Kingdom. It 
would make God so happy. 
   People are attracted to Christ more than 
they are persuaded to him. Theyre attracted by 
the love of God shown through the people who 
claim to follow him. And they wont care what we 
know until they first know that we care. [Daily 
Devotional by Rick Warren: 


Simpleminded or Faith-Filled
      Simple Simon met a skeptic,
      Going to the fair.
      Said the skeptic to Simple Simon, 
      "Your Gods not anywhere." 
      Said Simple Simon to the skeptic, 
      "That's not really true.
      Though he's hard to comprehend, 
      He's as real as me or you."
   People who don't believe in Jesus often 
call Christians simpleminded. They say believing 
in human reason and the physical sciences makes 
them more intellectual. Just like the skeptic in 
the rhyme, they believe God doesn't exist 
because they can't see him. 
   It's not simpleminded to believe in 
Jesus. We put our faith in him because that's the 
direction that the evidence points. Still, much about 
God is too big for our minds to understand. How 
do you explain a God that is one "what" and 
three "who's." Some have said God's triune nature 
is like water. Water has three forms - liquid, 
steam, and ice - yet it's all water. But that's not 
really an accurate picture because all three 
persons of the Trinity exist at once - they don't 
morph from one to the other. Maybe that's why the 
Bible never uses an illustration to try to explain 
the Trinity. It simply teaches the Father is 
God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God - 
and that there is one God. That maybe the best 
way to understand it! 
   If you ever hear somebody say Christians 
are simpleminded, be ready to stand up for your 
faith. Some of the greatest scientists and sharpest 
minds in history believed in God. Plus, followers 
of Christ shaped the world into what it is 
   Jesus taught his disciples to love 
everybody. In John 13:34-35 the Lord says, "Just as I 
have loved you, you should love each other. Your 
love for one another will prove to the world that 
you are my disciples" (NLT). Christians have 
shown love by fighting to end slavery and to get 
equal rights for women. (Google William 
Wilberforce or modern-day slavery fighter Zach Hunter.) 
Followers of Christ have founded the worlds largest 
organizations that help people, such as the Salvation 
Army, Red Cross, Samaritan's Purse, and World 
Vision. Believers in Jesus championed education. Of 
the first 125 universities set up in the United 
States, nearly all of them had Christian 
foundations. Early scientists saw God's order in the 
stars, plant life, and human cells. 
   By faith, Christians have accomplished 
amazing things and shown great love ... and that's 
far from simple. [Case For Christ For Kids by 
Les Strobel] 



   If a couple is planning to get married 
and comes to see me for premarital counseling, 
Ill ask them if theyve had a disagreement 
   Sometimes theyll say, No, we love 
each other so much. We never disagree. 
   Ill say, Get out of here and go 
have a disagreement. I say that because 
couples have to learn conflict resolution. 
   Never allow an argument to get physical. 
Never strike each other. Dont throw things. 
Dont even let it turn into a screaming match. Try 
to hear what the other person is saying. Listen 
to him or her. Then apply the key operative 
principle from Scripture: Do not let the sun go 
down on your wrath (Ephesians 4:26 NKJV). In 
other words, dont go to bed angry at each 
other. Get it resolved. Someone needs to take point 
toward a resolution, and I think husbands should be 
the ones to do it. Were to love our wives as 
Christ loves the church (see Ephesians 5:25 NKJV). 
   One of the evidences of true conversion 
is love. Jesus said, By this all will know 
that you are My disciples, if you have love for 
one another (John 13:35 NKJV). And Romans 5:5 
says, The love of God has been poured out in 
our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to 
us (NKJV). God promises us this supernatural 
love, so dont say you cant resolve your 
problems. And dont claim you have irreconcilable 
   Start by loving each other and take hold 
of the love that God has given you. Maybe in 
your mind shes wrong and youre right. Still 
seek to resolve the conflict. Sometimes what 
youll find is that she actually wasnt wrong. Or 
you both were wrong. Get it resolved, and 
dont let the sun go down on your anger. [By Greg 
Laurie from Harvest Ministries; 


   My job requires lots of overtime, so I 
cant attend many of my kids school activities. 
My wife worries about this a lot. Could this 
have a negative effect on our kids? Or on my 
relationship with them? 
   As a father of three girls, I struggled 
with the same issues. As God blessed my ministry, 
more and more calls came in from all over the 
world, wanting me to speak at churches, 
conferences, and grand openings of supermarkets. It was 
hard to say no at first. I felt every opportunity 
was from God. 
   Finally I realized that every time I said 
yes to something, I had to say no to something 
else. Its called Maxs Yes Law of Inverse 
Dynamics. Look it up! It says this: with every yes in 
your schedule, there is an equal and opposite no 
reaction. When I said yes to another speaking 
engagement, I said no to another family dinner. When I 
said yes to another meeting, I said no to my 
girls volleyball game. When I said yes to another 
book tour, I said no to taking a walk with my 
   So how do we show people that we love and 
believe in them? There are many ways to express 
those feelings - verbal affirmations, love 
letters, phone calls, even a quick text message 
saying, Im thinking of you. Theyre all 
good, but theres one thats the best. 
   I talked about it in my book A Love Worth 
   Do you believe in your kids? Then show 
up. Show up at their games. Show up at their 
plays. Show up at their recitals. It may not be 
possible to make each one, but its sure worth the 
effort  You want to bring out the best in 
someone? Then show up. 
   Now that my girls are all grown up, 
believe me, Im glad I made that decision to show 
up before it was too late. Now (cue Cats 
in the Cradle in the background) I miss 
those Meet the Teacher Nights and seeing their 
papier-mch volcano at the science fair and sitting in 
the stands at the big volleyball meet, even if 
they were on the bench the whole time. 
   When it comes to kids and family, it is a 
lot easier to make money than to make up lost 
time. [Max Lucado Daily Devotional at 


   Our historic portrait as a nation is 
blotted with faces of hate. Each time it's revealed, 
I feel overwhelmed with sadness as well as 
somewhat paralyzed regarding what I can do to help. 
When I think about the men who marched with Nazi 
and KKK paraphernalia in Charlottesville or the 
image of the murderer behind the massacre in a 
church in Charleston or those who carried out the 
deadly blast at an Islamic center in Minnesota, I'm 
left to wonder, How could this happen in America? 
Even today? 
   Times like this, I'm reminded of a verse 
of the old hymn "Holy, Holy, Holy": "Though the 
darkness hide thee/Though the eye of sinful man thy 
glory may not see." The darkness seems so big, and 
I feel so small. I know Jesus is there. I know 
I have a part to play in spreading His light. 
But Virginia is far away from my house on the 
hill in Arkansas. I don't have a big public 
platform; my sphere of influence is about the size of 
a ping-pong ball. What can I do to make a 
   Sometimes, I think I get paralyzed into 
doing nothing because I think I can't do anything 
big. So as I watch the news, I do what I can. I 
hug my babies. I talk to them about wrong and 
right, and standing up to bullies, and loving 
everybody. When I go to the grocery store, I buy a few 
items for the food pantry at our church. I read 
and educate myself, and I've even thought about 
how to broach this subject when my classes 
start. I also pray. 
   None of those things are big deals. But a 
lot of sparks can make a fire, and a lot of 
little efforts can show big love to a world that 
needs to see Jesus in us. by Gwen Ford 
   Faith Step: Do one tangible thing, no 
matter how small, to spread the love of Jesus 
today. [Mornings With Jesus 2019 Devotional by 
Guideposts and Zondervan] 


John 13:34, 35 - The New Command - Love As 
Jesus Did. 



If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or 
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either 
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in 
hearing from you.  Thanks in advance and let's keep 
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred 


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