Daily Devotionals

Believe It Or Not Week 5: Saturday

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35

Who is the most loving person that you know? I am certain that the person who came to mind stands out in a crowd. Love, after all, stands out. Love stands out in a world where many will argue or say unkind words. In a world where forgiveness is unexpected, love stands out. In a world where selfishness is excused, love stands out. In fact, Scripture teaches us that love is to be the defining characteristic of followers of Christ.

 When spending some of His last moments with His disciples, Jesus taught them about the importance of love. “Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other,” He taught them (verse 34). This call to love was what was on His mind as He considered His impending death. He took His teaching a step further when He continued saying, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (verse 35). Not only were Jesus and His disciples called to love, but their love for one another was what would help others see that they were followers of Christ.

This love is to define us as followers of Christ today. Unfortunately, many followers of Christ spend more time arguing than loving, but this is not the way things are supposed to be. We are called to love because God loved us, and our love for others gives them just a small picture of God’s love for them.

The truth is, it is easy to talk about loving people. Unfortunately, it is not as easy to love. People are messy and not always easy to love. During these times, we need to lean in to love the most. After all, Christ loved us when we were completely unlovable. We are not called to love only the people who are easy to love, but we are called to love everyone. There are no exceptions. How can you show others the love of God today?

Moving Toward Action

One of the ways we can love others well is to invite them to church to worship with us. Who can you invite to come to one of our weekend services this weekend? Invite them today. You never know what a difference your invitation can have in their life.

Going Deeper

John 13:13-38 (NLT)

You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.

“I am not saying these things to all of you; I know the ones I have chosen. But this fulfills the Scripture that says, ‘The one who eats my food has turned against me.’ I tell you this beforehand, so that when it happens you will believe that I Am the Messiah. I tell you the truth, anyone who welcomes my messenger is welcoming me, and anyone who welcomes me is welcoming the Father who sent me.”

Now Jesus was deeply troubled, and he exclaimed, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me!”

The disciples looked at each other, wondering whom he could mean. The disciple Jesus loved was sitting next to Jesus at the table. Simon Peter motioned to him to ask, “Who’s he talking about?” So that disciple leaned over to Jesus and asked, “Lord, who is it?”

Jesus responded, “It is the one to whom I give the bread I dip in the bowl.” And when he had dipped it, he gave it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. When Judas had eaten the bread, Satan entered into him. Then Jesus told him, “Hurry and do what you’re going to do.” None of the others at the table knew what Jesus meant. Since Judas was their treasurer, some thought Jesus was telling him to go and pay for the food or to give some money to the poor. So Judas left at once, going out into the night.

As soon as Judas left the room, Jesus said, “The time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory, and God will be glorified because of him. And since God receives glory because of the Son, he will give his own glory to the Son, and he will do so at once. Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer. And as I told the Jewish leaders, you will search for me, but you can’t come where I am going. So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

Simon Peter asked, “Lord, where are you going?”

And Jesus replied, “You can’t go with me now, but you will follow me later.”

“But why can’t I come now, Lord?” he asked. “I’m ready to die for you.”

Jesus answered, “Die for me? I tell you the truth, Peter—before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.