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.” (John 13:31-35)
Relate: Because I am living in a country other than where I have citizenship, it might at some point become necessary to get an official document known either as a certificate of existence or a proof of life (depending on who is requiring it). The document is exactly what it sounds like. It certifies that yes, I am real and I am still alive. If I understand the this bureaucratic process correctly (not likely), I don’t really have to worry about this until 2033 when the earliest of my 401k’s mature. Most of what I have tucked away will come a decade later, and it isn’t like I have all that much stored away anyways. it might be enough to buy a car. A used car. An old, beat up used car.
The whole reason for the certificate is that the government or insurance company wants to make sure the funds or benefits they are giving out are going to a real person who is still alive. It is a way to prevent fraud. They want to make sure nephew Bob isn’t sitting around still collecting uncle Joe’s social security six years after poor Joe kicked the bucket. Granted, my real name is not Joe and I do not have any nephews named Bob so if you work for the IRS… that wasn’t me.
React: God’s love manifest in our lives is the Christian’s certificate of existence. When a person surrenders to Christ, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in them and they come alive. This is the very real meaning of the frequently used and most often misused phrase “born again”. Just as we once came alive in the flesh, we are now made alive in the Spirit. How can we know if this has happened in someone’s life? They love.
It is that simple. If you do not love, you are not a Christian. That is not my opinion. I am not just making something up. It is exactly what Jesus is saying. It is pretty much the theme of the entire book of 1 John. That is why I can say with absolute confidence that those like the Westboro Baptist protesters and certain presidential candidates are not Christian no matter what they claim. That is not me falling into the “No true Scotsman” fallacy. It is simply a statement of fact. But enough about random others, the real question is, am I living out this proof of life? Are you?
God, forgive me for the times I have fallen so far short of the love I should be displaying. To be honest, that is pretty much most moments of most of my days. I fall so far short. I am selfish. I am egocentric. I am impatient. I am all too uncaring all too often. Without Your strength, I can never adequately show Your love to my world. Without You living through me, it will never happen. Be the proof of my life. Let Your love shine brightly through me for all to see.