Saturday, September 24, 2011

By This Shall All Men Know

During our Passover service earlier this year, I was really struck by Jesus' statement "by this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you love one another".

Really? That's how the world will recognise the disciples of Jesus? Not by speaking in tongues, or miraculous healing, or charismatic preaching?

More recently I heard a minister explain it this way: the proof of God's Spirit working in us is in the fruit (found in Galatians 5:22) we bear, not in the gifts (listed in I Corinths 12:1-11) we receive.

Love (which is explained in I Corinthians 13) is the very first fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22. Healing and speaking in tongues are gifts of the Spirit found in I Corinthians 12.

The love talked about by the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 13 is far beyond a warm and fuzzy feeling. In fact, he told us that we could even "give our body to be burned", and yet NOT have true Godly love.

Real, Godly love
"suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away."

Jesus Christ never said anything that He didn't mean. Read the words above carefully - real love is hard. The question is, are we willing to make the sacrifice to become Jesus' followers? Are we willing to really love one another?

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