“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)
If you were the only Christian an unbeliever were to be exposed to in his or her lifetime, what sort of judgment would he or she make about your Christ? If he or she were to have one opportunity only to meet a Christian, and would then come to a conclusion about what Christians are like based on that encounter with you, what conclusions do you think he or she might reach?
Some of us who are part of a church and who are regularly around other Christians cannot imagine that we would be the only Christian someone might meet. But, let’s be reminded that there are literally billions of people in our world who have never heard even the name of Jesus even once. Some of them actually are in our country. So, this is not as impossible as it might seem. Thus, the question remains.
Jesus tells us how to be sure that we represent Him accurately to our world: we are to love one another as He has loved us. This is a love we are to feel toward one another, a love we are to demonstrate toward one another through our actions, and a love we are to practice toward one another habitually. It is not a love we can generate ourselves but is a love that is possible only when the Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts. This is God’s kind of love. Loving one another with His kind of love is what will represent Jesus accurately to our world.
Lord, Your Spirit within us is the only hope we have for accurately representing You to our world. Fill us with Your Spirit. Amen.