DAILY BIBLE READING:

2 Samuel 4:1–6:23 
John 13:31–14:14 
Psalm 119:17-32 
Proverbs 15:31-32 

BIBLE VERSE(S) FOR TODAY:

John 13:34-35 “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Following Jesus is difficult but easy.

It’s difficult because of our propensity toward sin that keeps us on our knees each day asking for forgiveness over and over.

It’s simple because there are really only two commands that we must remember. All of the other commands are just subsets of these two: Love God will everything you’ve got and love each other just as you love and care about yourself (see Matthew 22:35-40).

In my Bible reading this morning, I was reminded that there are causes and effects to obeying these two greatest commands, particularly loving our brothers and sisters in Christ. When an unbelieving world sees the compassionate community that Jesus’ followers create by their love for each other, many will come to believe that Jesus does exist, that we are His followers, and He is what their heart craves.

John 13:34-35 (CSB) “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Fellow believers, we’ve got to love each other. That means we will honor each other and not gossip about one another. That means we will sacrifice to meet each other’s need if necessary. That means we will extend grace and biblical assistance when one of us stumbles into sin and we will quit shooting our wounded. That means we genuinely like being around those in our own church as well as those who attend elsewhere.

All too often, when lost people look at the Christian community, they see people who can’t get along. They hear the gossip, ridicule, and condemnation. They listen to the unforgiveness. They see the clique. The lost world struggles with their own relationship troubles so why would they be attracted to a community where they would simply add to that burden.

Let’s focus on the two greatest commands: Love God will all of our heart and love each other as we love ourselves.

If you are a part of a church that is genuinely loving others like the one I pastor (we haven’t ‘arrived’ but we’re having fun working on it), you should thank the Lord for placing you there and always strive to make that love go deeper.

If, however, this is not your experience, work to create a community where broken people are accepted and helped along on their journey to Christlikeness. In doing so, show the world that Jesus really does exist, that we are His followers, and He really is all they need.