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Kathy's Faith Walk

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That’s why if we ask Him to, God will give us the ability to love anyone, even our enemies

“They will know we are Christians by our love, by our love, they will know we are Christians by our love.” This lyric excerpt comes from a song written by Peter Schools more than 30 years ago. We used to sing it in prayer and camp meetings. I remember the young people as they clasped hands and swayed to the rhythm of the music; smiling, tear stained faces, all longing for the day that these lyrics would be really true. I believe that day is drawing near.

 The song is based on a passage in the Bible, John 13: 34 &35, which says, ”A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

That verse is impossible to misinterpret no matter what version it is written in. A cross reference Bible verse is 1 John 4:20. This verse says “If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.

Of all the New Testament writers, John is most known for his writing about love; love of Christ, love for Christ, between Christ Followers, and love for non-believers.

When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, the question was intended to entrap Him. But what He did with that question not only foiled the attempt to trick Him, it gave us the simplest form of the Gospel possible: Love God, and love people.

For a Christ Follower, loving God basically requires that we love people. We cannot love God if we do not love people because God is love and He loves people. As Christ Followers, we can do no less. To follow Him is to be like Him. However, loving people is not always easy. That’s why if we ask Him to, God will give us the ability to love anyone, even our enemies; those who persecute and despitefully use us. It is all joy to us when He is the source of the love we give

“They will know we are Christians by the way we love each other.” Is it enough just to say we love one another? Saying it is important. Certainly we all need to hear it from time to time. But even better is when we act on it. Showing love is really very simple. If we see a person with a need, to love that person is to meet their need to the best of our ability. It is an act of the will and requires sacrifice on many levels.

To serve Christ is to be like Him, and that means always being on the lookout for ways to, well, act like Him. What did He do? He taught people about God, He healed the sick, He fed the hungry, and He cast out demons. He took care of the needs of the people before Him and He told us to do the same. This list may seem strange in the United States, but in other parts of the world it is quite appropriate. I suspect that it will become more common locally in the coming months.

As others see us, and benefit from us acting like Christ, we won’t even have to tell them who we are. They will know we are Christians by our love.

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Kathy Osborne Kathy Osborne is the editor of the Co Op Country Store's newspaper, the Co Op Round-Up. In her spare time she checks in on her three grown children, or listens to her husband play music.

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