Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves
has been born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:7
What do Christians do? Christians love each another. At least, that’s what John says here. It’s also what Jesus says in John 13:35, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Love is the authenticating mark of genuine Christianity. By that I mean, the way you know you’ve been in the presence of real Christians – and not just people who pretend to know Jesus – is the love you’ve seen them share for one another and for you. The apostle John expands on this in 1 John 4:7-8,
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
How important is it to have this Christ-like love for fellow believers? It’s so important that to have such love is proof that you do belong to Jesus and not to have this love shows that you do not. That’s why Paul says that “love must be without hypocrisy” in Romans 12:9. That means it must be real and unfaked. A fake love, like a pretend faith, does nothing. And that’s the point.
Real love – genuine Christian love – is active! It’s not just a feeling you get once in a while, it’s something that motivates you to action! It moves you to do good for those around you (1 John 3:17-18). People who love one another share in each other’s burdens. They join together to fight the evil and confront the sins they know would bring harm to each other’s lives if left unchecked. By their actions they seek to bring good to one another, to meet each other’s needs, and to heal one another’s hurts with the grace and compassion of Jesus.
It is my prayer that God would increase our love toward one another, and not just the love we say we have, but the love we demonstrate day after day.
Learning to love for His sake!