John 13:35 “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
In yesterday’s devotional we saw that in order to receive the promise of John 8:32, you had to be a disciple of Jesus. A disciple is one who holds fast to His teachings and lives in accordance with them. Today’s verse, gives us a primary answer on how those around us will know if we are His disciples. It is critical to note that the criteria focus on how we actually live our lives.
Back in the Jesus People days of the late 60s, my wife Donna told me of a phrase written as graffiti on a tunnel wall at North Carolina State University. The phrase was, “If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” Think about that for a minute.
Let’s take it a step further and place some restrictions on acceptable evidence: 1) Church attendance is only acceptable if it is backed up by other evidence, 2) Your verbal testimony is not admissible as evidence – only the testimony of others reporting what you’ve said and done is admissible, and 3) Evidence is primarily going to be provided by the testimonies of those who know you, work with you, interact with you or wait on you, i.e., clerks, waitresses, storekeepers, parking lot attendants, etc…
How will others describe you? Simply put, what kind of person are you? What kind of co-worker? What kind of neighbor? Friend? Acquaintance? How do you treat people? Suppose it goes further and they are able to identify everything you watch, read, or view – TV, phones, computers, whatever.
Will the evidence presented confirm that we are loving people? Upon examination, will the testimony confirm that we hold fast to the teachings of Jesus – that we live our lives in accordance with them? Or will the testimony present a picture where our Christian testimony (verbal) is at odds with our lives?