They will know…if you love one another.

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They will know…if you love one another.

In John 13:34-35, Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to 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 another.”

This Scripture passage tells us that a unique characteristic of a disciple of Jesus is brotherly love. Yet, in attempting o fulfill this commandment of brotherly love, we find we are not in a position to do so, as we are unable within ourselves.

The context of the above Scripture is given when Jesus is telling His disciples He is about to leave them, and where He is going they cannot follow now, but will later. So He instructs them to love one another. It is as if Peter misses that part (the command to love one another) completely, and asks Jesus where He is going and why they can’t follow now. And yet, just a few months later, we find them (in the book of Acts) not only experiencing but also living out what Jesus commanded them to do – that is, loving one another. Previously, there had been argument amongst them about who is the greatest. There was  competition, jealous, and jockeying for position. Now it had all changed, and brotherly love was one of the chief characteristics of the early church.

So how do we love one another? Love for one another arises from the love of the Father. By the Holy Spirit, the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts, and the wonderful love of the Father is unveiled to us so that His love becomes the life and joy of our lives. Our love for God springs out of the fountain of His love for us. Then, God’s love active in us naturally causes us to love one another. Possibly, that is why in Jude 21 the writer says, “Keep yourselves in God’s love.” because that is the only way we can truly love one another.

Oswald Chambers in ‘101 Days in the Gospels’ says, “It is the most ordinary business to fall in love; it is the most extraordinary business to abide there. The same thing with regard to the love of our Lord. The Holy Ghost gives us the great power to love Jesus Christ. This is not a rare experience at all; the rare experience is to get into the conception of loving Him in such a way that the whole heart and mind and soul are taken up with Him.”

As we continue to grow in the Lord let one of they ingredients be that of love, expressing our love in the way we see it in 1 John 3:18: “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth.” We can be sure of one thing; that which we love we will give ourselves to, as this is a divine principle. We see it played out in the Bible’s best-known verse. “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son.” God not only loved the world (mankind); He showed His love by giving. So, as we love Jesus – both the King and His Kingdom – let us truly love one another and give ourselves to His will, His purpose, His church and His Kingdom.

About the Author:

Ken Grenfell is the director and founder of Restoring the Wells and the main author of the RTW blog.