July 30

Breaking Through to Love, Part 4

John 13:35 “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Remembering that Satan is still fighting for possession of his kingdom, we know that it’s his devilish will that we disobey the commands of the Lord. He especially hates it when we love one another. We will look at two of the more powerful reasons today and tomorrow.

The love we show to our fellow believers is one of the main ways that people pay attention to the gospel. The famous folk/Christian song based on John 13:35 may no longer be in favor musically, but the meaning remains: People see that we are disciples of Christ by the way we treat one another, specifically by showing them love.

Can we see why the devil is so invested in making sure we don’t love, and if we do, that we don’t express it? If he can stop up one of the main expressions of the gospel, he’ll do it. He’ll do it with fear, selfishness, unforgiveness, jealousy—whatever it takes to stop our hearts from loving our Christian family members.

We need to remember diligently that this is not a matter of people. It’s a spiritual battle. There will always be a wide variety of reasons the enemy can use with us to entice us to withhold love from one another. Between our weaknesses and those of others, the enemy has plenty to choose from when it comes to stirring up barriers to love. Yes, people will be people, but our focus is the spiritual battle, where the enemy is the enemy but the Lord is the Lord.

Love, demonstrated in service, has to be the goal. We’ve all been hurt, and we all have our internal reasons that we find it hard to love one person or another. But if we set our eyes on loving—really loving with His love—then what awaits us is healing, understanding, and a revelation of God that we’ve never had.

Perhaps you’re not the evangelist you’d like to be. Perhaps you struggle to figure out how best to share the gospel with those around you. Yet you share the gospel in part when you love your brothers and sisters. His love, shared among us, is so attractive, so different from the world’s “love,” so full of grace and forgiveness, that it calls attention to its Author and our King. As we learn how to “use our words” (see February 25 and 26), let’s also learn to demonstrate His love among us.

Prayer: Lord, help me to remember that expressing Your love is a spiritual matter, one that has opposition. Thank You that loving Your children shows others that we are Your disciples. Magnify Your love among Your people.