"When Jesus is asked, 'what's the most important thing?' Jesus' response is to love, love God with everything that you have and then love those around you in the same kind of way. Jesus doesn't separate loving God and loving others. For Jesus, everything hangs on these two. And so the defining mark of a Christian is love." - Rob Bell
Loving God usually comes pretty easy. It's the loving your neighbor that is a little bit harder, and yet without doing that we don't fulfill the second greatest commandment (Mark 12:29-31). The word love in this passage can be translated in the Greek - agapao, a verb meaning to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly (this is in regard to people).
Last night at church, we were discussing the issue of how the world views Jesus and how we as Christians help them to see Jesus. The world doesn't actually KNOW Him like we do. To most of them Jesus is just a good man who died for what He believed in. But to KNOW Him is to have relationship with Him and to personify Him in all that we do.
As it says above, "the defining mark of a Christian is love." You can have so many things, but without LOVE you are nothing but a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal (1 Cor. 13:1). People will know that you are a Christian by the love that you show toward them - the love of Christ - the love that sees beyond a person's choices and looks to their heart to embrace who they really are: a child of the Most High God.
Also, note that in the verse from Mark that says the second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself, the word love is a verb - AN ACTION is required here. To complete this commandment requires that you actually DO something.
As followers of Christ, we are known by the love that we show to believers and non-believers alike. It truly is the "defining mark" that shows who we are.
Think About It...