Friday, 8 November 2013

One Commandment

34-35 “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”  John 13:34-5 The Message

Anne Rice
To say that I am out of touch with the world would be an enormous understatement.  For example you might think that I would have at least heard the name of a woman who had sold over 90 million books – that would be Anne Rice.  Anne became a Christian when she was young.  She walked away from Christianity when she was 18 and eventually became an atheist.  In her late 50’s, while researching material for a book, she returned to her Christian roots.  In her early 70’s she said, “I quit Christianity but I am fully committed to being a disciple of Jesus Christ.”

What on earth is that all about?  How can you be a follower of Jesus and not be a Christian?  The word Christian is only used three times in Scripture.  It was always a derogatory term used to describe the followers of Christ.  Jesus preferred the word disciples to describe those who followed him.

I almost entitled this blog “convicted” but who would read a blog with that as a title?  Here is why I am feeling convicted.  Anne went on to say that those she identifies as Christians tend to be “hostile, quarrelsome and disputatious.”  Sadly you could probably add your own words to describe those of us who call ourselves Christians, such as self-righteous, proud, critical, etc.
Let’s bring this home.  Even though there are Ten Commandments we only need one, i.e. “as I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By that all men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”  For clarity a disciple is one who is teachable, willing to forsake all things, bears fruit, and whose life is characterized by love.  Now let’s get even more personal.  Would your husband or wife say that you are quarrelsome, hostile and/or disputatious?  When your friends and family “see the love you have for each other” are they drawn to Christ?  Or would they, like Anne, say if that is a reflection of Christianity no wonder the divorce rate among Christians is the same as the secular world.

By the way the love you have for each other is not defined by the Sunday morning persona that each of us puts on as we enter church.  Our true love for each other is on display the hour before we leave for church; it’s what transpires during the week between the two of you.

How do you behave toward your spouse – as a disciple of Jesus?


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