17 Jun How To Recognize A Christian Man
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
By their fruit you will recognize them.
It was spring-time and my wife, Lisa, decided we needed a little herb garden on our back patio. After a few weeks the seeds were sprouting and my wife was eagerly awaiting the opportunity to taste fresh herbs in all of her yummy recipes—she’s a fantastic cook! We noticed one of the little plants was quickly outpacing the others. It’s leaves appeared to be a slightly different shape than it’s smaller siblings. Lisa excitedly snipped a few leaves, crushed them up and used them in her lunch. The flavor didn’t seem quite right and later that evening her stomach reacted rather strongly. We began to question whether or not this was an herb at all. After some research we determined that this fast growing plant was an impostor; it was milkweed, a toxic weed that leads to upset stomach. By its fruit we finally recognized it and promptly removed it!
Fellow warriors, Jesus tells us that the fruit of our lives reveals if we are truly his followers. The proof is in the pudding! More specifically, according to John 13, people will know who his disciples are by the presence or absence of Christlike love in their lives. We are to love as he loved. What does this mean? How did Jesus love us?
Jesus loved us sacrificially. Who or what do you make sacrifices for? Is it pleasure, hobbies, leisure or entertainment? It’s amazing the lengths we will go to for the things that bring us pleasure—gotta have our me time! Or perhaps its your job. We often convince ourselves that the sacrifices we make for our job are for the good of our family, so our kids can have a more comfortable life. We often make huge sacrifices for our kids—for their sports, schooling and ever-growing list of activities with their friends. But what do our kids really need? They need their father, and they need us to be present -with our time, our biblical values, and our love.
Truly following Christ means we will make sacrifices to connect with and show love to our brothers and sisters in the church; we will put a priority on the family of God! Who are you really close to? Real Christians live in authentic, close, loving Christian community with other Christians. This takes effort. It takes time. It takes sacrifice. It takes humility – the humility to open up vulnerably with our fellow Christian warriors.
Jesus loved us in order to save us. We live in a lost world. Many attend church periodically yet are still in need of a saving relationship with God. Loving as Jesus loved means our life as a Christian will be defined by an unending quest to reach out to and share the love of Christ with those around us. It means we’ll often have to do less of what we selfishly want to do and spend more time getting out of our comfort zone to get into the battle to reach others for Christ – to befriend, converse with, and teach them the Bible. That is loving as Jesus loved – and it is the way the world will know we are his disciples!
Real warriors for God – real Christian men – will be recognized by their fruit. Is the fruit of Christ’s love evident in your life? If not, let us prayerfully resolve to seek help and repentance. When we do this, brothers, we will taste the sweet fruit of the truly Christian life!