Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

By Our Love They Will Know Us

John 13:35

By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

Photo on 7-6-16 at 3.42 PMI was sick yesterday and couldn’t focus – so today I am pulling an old article up and reworking it. Love is at the base – the focus of our faith. Thanks for the prayers – because I’m feeling some better today.

I read an article once about an Iowa couple – married for 72 years – Gordon (94) – and Norma (90) Yeager.  They were hardly ever a part in life and even after a tragic car accident (Gordon’s fault) they lay in the ICU – hand in hand.  Their children reported in the article how close they were – how the day after Norma graduated from High School she accepted Gordon’s proposal and within 12 hours they were married and never a part again.

After the accident and hearing how close they were throughout their life – the nurses put them in the same room in the ICU and brought their beds together.  They reached for each other and held each other’s hand – his right – her left.  At 3:38 pm he died – he stopped breathing – but to the children’s surprise the heart monitor kept going.  They were puzzled until the nurses told them that because they were holding hands – their mom’s heart beat was going through their dad and being read by his machine.  She passed at exactly one hour later.  Their son mentioned that dad was holding the door open for her.

That was an amazing story – everyone who knew them – or read this story about their life – knew they loved being together – loved each other.  I wonder if people looking at us – the people in the church – even our own church – would tell a story of people loving each other – loving Jesus – with all our hearts?  It is how Scripture says we will be known – not by the rules we follow – not by our doctrine – not by the committee meetings we hold and decisions we make – not by the degrees with have – but by the love we show one another.  Let us practice loving each other.  I’m not suggesting that doctrine and truth are not important – but before we can teach sound doctrine – we must show our love.  They will know us by our love.

By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

There are a lot of things that we could allow to divide us. There are issues that we can debate and we might even agree to disagree on some of them. But nothing should come between us and the love of God.

Romans 8:31–39 – 31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Do not let anything separate us dear readers. Do not allow differences – even theological differences – divide us. We must work through our differences and either agree or agree to disagree – while presenting a unified front to the lost of the world. The Body of Christ must be able to work through their differences. The love of God must prevail! By our love they will know us!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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July 21, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , ,

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