Are You Known By Your Love? – Exploring the Mandate of Christ
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:34-35
As Christ walked the earth, He shocked people with His extravagant love. From tax collectors to women caught in adultery, He stooped down and reached them in love. There were times for calling for repentance, but more often than not, He reached out in love and wrapped His arms around those enslaved to sin.
The law could never do what His grace did on that cross. We cannot expect that acting in the law will produce the results of grace.
The last few weeks, the internet has been flooded with the story of Maddi and her Christian school baring her from walking in graduation because she had sex outside of marriage, as evidenced by her pregnancy.
My heart ached.
There is certainly a time for calling someone to repentance, but friends, Christ did not say we would be known by our ardent rule-keeping. He said we would be know by our love.
After the election last fall, a friend asked me if we had forgotten the words of Christ, if we could still be a people marked by love. Christians are known by many things in today’s society. But Christ’s label, the thing He wanted us to be known by, was our love for each other.
What would that look like? If we were known by what we love, not what we are fighting against?
Let us be know as being pro-marriage, because we empower strong marriages. Let us be known for being pro-life, because of our love for women who chose life in difficult places and our passion for foster care and adoption. Let us be pro-love by the way we lavish grace, the same undeserved grace we were shown, on those around us who don’t deserve grace.
I fall short daily. I pass by the man on the side of the road. Snarky comments fire at my undeserving husband when traffic is bad. My attitude often expresses a heart that believes it deserved God’s love instead of the heart of a sinner redeemed by grace.
But this love is marked by grace. Grace that restores and rebuilds broken people into beautiful tributes of His glory.
Like every human to walk the earth, I have fallen short of God’s standard. I have been redeemed because Christ’s death was sufficient to cover my sin and it is our privilege to spread His grace and love to those enslaved by sin.
I wrote about love last week on Her View from Home:
Jesus was in the business of grace. It hurts to see those in Christ living as if they are under the law. We must have standards as a Christian community. If someone is outside those standards, we are charged to call them to accountability. As Paul says in Galatians, we must restore them “in a spirit of gentleness” (Galatians 6). The school’s actions in the name of Christ are not gentle, they are unnecessarily hurtful. Banning and barring to make an example is the opposite of restoration, it is exclusion because of sin… Read more here.