Disciples of Christ

The Christian's Identification Mark

Many of us as Christians spend quite a bit of time focused on the wrong thing.  Undoubtedly, we are concerned about what sets us apart or distinguishes us from others - whom we will call the world.  Some Christians believe that building mega churches and boasting large membership rolls “is it.”  Others believe that supporting radio and television ministries that reach into poor neighborhoods and win many lost souls for the Kingdom of God “does it.”  There are also others who are convinced that by showing up each time the church doors are opened and by worshipping in tithes and offering and some other ministry will seal their status as disciples as Jesus Christ.

All of the above are good and in most cases ought to characterize the life of a Christian.  However, there is one basic or fundamental attribute of a Christian - which I will call the Christian's identification mark.  What is it?  What is this secret trademark, if you will?

The Christian's identification mark is LOVE.

Just before His crucifixion, as recorded in the gospel of St. John, Jesus said to his disciples, "By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you love one for another."  This is a seemingly simple requirement and yet many of us as Christians fail miserably.  Just watch the way we live.

We are overly concerned about ourselves and often forget others in need.  Our churches are spotted by groups that sometimes refuse to let others in.  Sadly enough, we have Black churches, Hispanics churches and White churches which are located in close proximity to each other, and although some struggle to survive they believe it is better to remain apart than it is to make an effort to unite for the common good.

Additionally, there are those of us who vigorously speak against certain policies and practices in our country and the society - abortion, homosexuality, etc.  This we must do, because our value system demands it.  However, our disagreements and protests should be punctuated by LOVE.

Love is tangible, but certain good deeds can be void of love.  Can you imagine that some may give away much of their wealth to the poor and not have love?  Well, yes.  The motivation for giving may be far removed from love.  Generally, watch how much that person talks about the gift.  That's a clue.  What about someone sacrificing their life for a cause or group of people?  Jesus says that the greatest expression of love is to give one's life for others.  Yet, some who venture down the life-giving road may do so for some reason other than love.

Come on fellow-Christians, let us get our names out there as a people who love.  It is time for the Christian’s identification mark to stand out above the fray of many things that are non-Christian.

There are too many Christians in our churches who feel unloved by others in the church.  There are too many Black Christians who do little to get along with White Christians and vice versa.  Admittedly, there is a cultural divide.  One group is uncertain how to relate to the other group.  That's why there is love - the Christian's identification mark.  Love says, "We are different, but we are one."  Love reaches out.  It moves across the aisle to meet the other half-way.  Love is active.

We must work at getting all our fellow-Christians feeling accepted, a part of, and loved.  Let's get this show on the road for there is yet a bigger one - reaching the world.

When the bonds of LOVE bind Christians together we will move out as a mighty, powerful and united force.  Watch out devil!  Let us reach the world - first with love to melt the hearts and prepare them to receive the sweet and precious Word of God.

Onward Christian Soldiers, marching unto LOVE.

Comments 6 comments

Indaba 6 years ago

Some might say you are a bit idealistic, friend. How do we display love appropriately while recognizing some very glaring differences in faith traditions and practices?

Idealism is water to a parched land, though, my friend. I'm sure we've all heard the common phrase "Major on the majors, minor on the minors". While this initially sounds like an attempt at obscure music humor, applied to our diverse church bodies and faith communities, it's intent is not lost. The more divisive issues we encounter, you'd think that it would result in Christ's goodness becoming that much more apparent to His bride. Unfortunately, the church is being led by humans, so we're inevitably bound to encounter struggles of unity.

"Jesus says that the greatest expression of love is to give one's life for others." Some problems that arise when applying this in our modern Western church:

Entitlement

Individualism

Consumerism

Post Post-modernism


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tjmatel3 6 years ago from McDonough, GA Author

Hello, Indaba. I agree that our differences and humanity present us with challenges to truly love. However, I do not believe walking in pure love for others is idealistic. Jesus commands this and therefore provides us with the ability to do it.


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create a page 6 years ago from Maryland, USA

I am with you brother. Yes, we all have our weaknesses and this is what essentially divides us. However, thank God for the power of the Holy Spirit who unites us as one.

Jesus is coming back for a spotless church. The stage has already been set for revival and unity through love. Even hubpages contributes to unity by allowing us to unite and to spread the Word.

I am marching with you, and as a matter of fact, I will follow you as of today. Happy New Year!


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tjmatel3 6 years ago from McDonough, GA Author

Thank you create a page. As Christians we are fully equipped to accomplish whatever God has called us to. Our problem has always been submitting to the will of God and the power of His Holy Spirit. Let's pray that more of us will submit. Thanks for signing on as a fan! Happy New Year!


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writerjay 6 years ago from Bellingham, WA

Thank you for this beautiful message. I don't think we hear it enough. I agree that since we are to walk in love and faith, and have the mind of Christ, He will provide for us to do this. Do we fail? YES! But we get back up, dust ourselves off, and start all over again - determined not to repeat or live in the same things that bring us and others down.


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tjmatel3 6 years ago from McDonough, GA Author

Right on, writerjay. We're fallible and prone to mistakes. But, we seek forgiveness and get on with our lives.

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