A disciple of Jesus is one who follows the teachings and ways of Jesus. There should be no doubt that we are followers of Christ because our lives should look more and more like His life. There are several distinguishing characteristics of a disciple of Christ. As followers of Jesus, we imitate His ways.
Being His disciple means that we imitate his love. Jesus says, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:34-35 (NASB). In a cold world, we must still have a warm heart for people.
It is no accident that the command to love others is found in the same setting when Jesus gave His disciples the promise of the Holy Spirit. God’s expectations are based upon God’s empowerment. God does not ask us to do that which He has not equipped us to do. If there is a command, know that there is power to obey the command. When Jesus gives this command, he says “love one another as I have loved you.” The love that we should aspire to have is the kind of sacrificial love that could very well cost us our lives. There is no greater demonstration of love than willingly giving up your life so that someone else can live.
The love for God that we profess to have is demonstrated in the way we in the church treat one another. Just like with the apostles, there are plenty of opportunities for conflict in the church. That’s why Jesus would say love one another! Be different from the world. Love, even when you have reasons not to. Don't run away when times get hard. Hang in there and love one another.
There should be some evidence of our love. It's good to say you love someone, but if what you do conflicts with what you say, people will believe your actions more than your words. Love must be demonstrated. There is no point in saying I will die for you if I won't even do for you. Are we willing to go the extra mile for our brother or sister? Are we willing to treat people right even when they do us wrong? Do our relationships and interactions as God’s children make our Father look good? Disciples of Christ love one another!
Minister Ross' creativity, wisdom, and insight have inspired community, church and corporate audiences throughout the United States.