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
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
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;
KIDS AND GRAND-KIDS
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?
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]
LINK FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE
John 13:34, 35 - The New Command - Love As
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
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT
Most Important Decision in Life:
A Man without Equal by Bill Bright:
Seeking God Made Real:
Prayer Made Real:
Importance of Choice:
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]
Medical Seminar on Healthful Living by David
DeRose, MD, MPH:
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDIES
Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies:
Amazing Facts Bible Studies:
Hope Awakens Bible Study Guides:
Glow Tract Video Bible Studies:
LINKS FOR BIBLE PROPHECY SEMINARS
Unlocking Bible Prophecies by Cami Oetman of
Adventist World Radio (currently live):
Hope Awakens by John Bradshaw of IIW:
The Last Day of Prophecy by Pastor Doug
Prophecies Decoded by Pastor Ron Clouzet: