“A new Commandment I give unto you:  That you love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love one to another.”

John 13:34-35

It’s easy to identify one when this is in operation.

Christ’s Love.

No one needs to tell us that a building’s most likely a church building when a steeple rises from its roof; neither do we need to be told that a building is a mosque when a minaret or prayer tower rises from it.

Yet, in this day-and-age of multiple definitions of what it means to be a Christian, we find ourselves grappling with a surefire indicator that leaves no doubt as to which is true and which is counterfeit.  That’s why today’s Manna is so needed in this present hour—for Jesus said “By this (My kind of Love) shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love one for another.”

Now, we know this type of love is “agape-love”. . .a self-giving, condescending, compassionate, God-type Love.  And, it’s only available through the new birth when Christ’s Eleventh Commandment is written upon our hearts, not some tablet of stone.

Again, apart from being born again, we cannot fulfill His “New Commandment”—partly because of our sinful nature and partly because we don’t want to obey it.  By nature, we are “children of disobedience, who prefer fulfilling the lusts of the mind and desires of the flesh as children of wrath” (Eph. 2:1-3).

And, with this comes every other sort of “fleshly fruits” (Gal. 5:19-21), which intoxicate the senses and fuel the fires of pride.  We enjoy engaging in competitive games of “one-up-man-ship,” for they make us feel superior and in need of nothing.

That’s why fulfilling Christ’s “New Commandment” requires a “New Creature” (II Cor. 5:17).

Just as none of us are able to keep even one of the original Ten Commandments, so are we unable to keep the Eleventh apart from Christ’s abiding Presence within us.  And, even then, it’s only as we “deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow Him”—moment-by-moment—that we’re able to be “more than conquerors through Him that loved us” (Lk. 9:23; Rom. 8:37).

It’s not the type Bible we read. . .whether or not we put the Icthus fish on the back of our car  . . .how many verses of Scripture we can quote from memory. . .how much we give to the church each Sunday. . .how often we visit the hospitals or nursing home, etc., that identifies us as a follower of Christ.

It’s how much and how well we love—and if that love draws others to Christ.  Yes, the song of yesteryear is still needed today:  “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love, Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.”  Amen and amen.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated November 15, 2010

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