John 13:35 – “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
It takes a lot of courage to face this verse without flinching. It voices a requirement, however, that is basic to discipleship. As you read its piercing, searching words, can you say that you truly love the brethren? As people watch the way you treat fellow Christians, are they reminded of the Lord Jesus Christ? The mark of a real testimony is LOVE! It is not how loudly you shout “amen” or how ambitiously you defend the fundamentals of the faith or how religiously you go to Church, but by this shall all men know that you are His disciple: If you have “love one to another.”
Does the man with whom you ride to work or the man who lives next door know you are a true believer by the warm compassionate attitude you exhibit toward others? Or do you constantly criticize fellow Christians because you differ with them on certain points? Do you shun the folk who do not belong to your assembly? Do you gossip about the brethren? Then you cannot expect the world to believe you are a disciple of the Lord.
I know there are disagreeable Christians with whom it is hard to get along because they are unlovely and unloving; but remember, we too are probably not as lovable as we should be. The secret of being able to love the unlovely is to keep your eyes fixed on the greatest Lover of all – Jesus Christ. Whom did He love? Just the nice people? Just the good people? For the answer read Romans 5:6-8, “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”