Lent Day 18 - Love One Another

"By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” - John 13:35

"...After we have done our best to communicate to a lost world, still we must never forget that the final apologetic which Jesus gave is the observable love of true Christians for true Christians." - Francis Schaeffer

Sharing the Gospel with unbelievers and serving our brothers and sisters in Christ are not in opposition to one another. At times the conversation about reaching more people with the Gospel versus caring for those already in the family of God creates tension. The more evangelistically inclined believers warn the church not to become a "holy huddle." The more shepherding types, remind the church not to forget to care for those who are already in the church body. Which one is more important? Should this tension exist? 

Jesus said that one of the primary ways we will influence the world around us is by loving one another. Our King Jesus defines love. (I John 4:10) Specifically, he served and sacrificed to rescue humanity. So, we look like Jesus when we love others by serving and sacrificing for them. Loving one another is a way to reflect Jesus, and proclaim the Gospel with our actions.

Consider a few more passages:

"Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God." - I John 4:7

"4 Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited, 5 does not act improperly, is not selfish, is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs. 6 Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." - I Corinthians 13:4-7

"20 I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in Me through their message. 21 May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in Us, so the world may believe You sent Me...May they be made completely one, so the world may know You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me." - John 17:20, 21, 23

Father, fill us with a fresh awareness of your love for us. Lead us to love others, beginning with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Empower us to be a people who serve, forgive, and prefer one another over ourself. May your love displayed through us draw others to you.