By this all men will know that you are my disciples,

if you love one another.

John 13:35

This verse describes what separates Christians from the culture of this world. This love Jesus is talking about is not human love; it is imparted, supernatural love, that changes the way we live our lives. The Lord did not just set a high standard of walking in love and step back to inspect our behavior, He came near and began to live this life of love inside us. The kind of love demanded and displayed in Jesus Christ is not attainable by human effort, it is only when Christ lives in us and loves through us that we begin to be separated from the rest of society. Without the love of God in our hearts our Christian preaching smacks of hypocrisy. Here is how Andrew Murray describes it.

“Love is the power that moved Christ to die for us. In love, God highly exalted Him as Lord. Love is the power that broke our hearts, and love is the power that heals them. Love is the power through which Christ dwells in us and works in us. Love can change my whole nature and enable me to surrender all to God. It gives me the strength to live a holy, joyous life, full of blessing to others. Every Christian should mirror the love of God. Alas, Christians seldom realize this! They seek, in the power of human love, to love Christ and their fellow men. And when they fail, they stop desiring it or praying for it. They do not understand that we may, and can, love with God’s own love that is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. If we fully believe that the Holy Spirit will maintain this heavenly love from hour to hour, we shall be able to love God and Christ with all our heart. We shall also be able to love our fellow men and, yes, even our enemies.”

I love Murray’s description of the love of God. It is love that attracted us, love that converted us, and love that empowers us. God’s love is clearly seen in the life Jesus lived, His ministry of compassion to the poor, and the incredible demonstration of His love at the cross. This very same is love is poured out on us through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Because of His impartation of love in our lives we can begin to live this life of love that changes our world. How will you really know this love has captured you? First, your undeniable love for Jesus. He has become your first love. Secondly, the unexplainable love you have for others, even and especially the unlovely. This is the love that separates us from the world, this is the love that satisfies us.

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