Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you love one another – if you keep on showing love among yourselves.” (John 13:35; AMPC). What did Jesus mean when He said this? Is there a way to measure ‘showing love’ among ourselves?
There can be a multitude of wise answers, as well as Scripture references, given in response to this simple question. Firstly, 1 Corinthians 13 gives us clear guidelines on how to show love, in general. As believers, bearing the fruit of the Holy Spirit would most certainly be the chief answer, since growing in the fruit of the Holy Spirit is how the character of Christ is formed in, and shown through, us!
When do people notice that you are different?
It is when we are kind that unbelievers pause and notice that we are different. It is when we are patient, when we love, and when we have joy amidst difficulties, etc. that the testimony of Jesus in our lives, through the work of the Holy Spirit, is most evident.
We are all acquainted with the different fruit of the Holy Spirit. This is an invitation to pray through the Scripture found in Galatians 5:22-26. Consider seriously praying this Scripture every morning over your life and the lives of your family members this coming year. Just imagine the presence and likeness of the Lord Jesus forming in you and me by such persistent prayer and yielding to the work of the Holy Spirit within us!
Let us pray
Father of mercy, I come before Your throne of grace. I lift up in prayer, my own life, that of my family members, those at my work/school and those whom I will encounter during the day. I pray for the work and fruit of the Holy Spirit to become more evident in my life, as a testimony to Your glory, and a crown of righteousness unto You!
According to Galatians 5:22-26, I pray that the fruit of the Holy Spirit, the work which Your Presence accomplishes in my life, will grow and manifest in my life every day of this coming year. I pray for Your pure, undefiled and non-condemning love to abound in me, and also in others, especially those who persecute, mock or bully me. I ask for Your love to help me forgive them, pray for them and bless them.
… joy, the gladness of heart!
I thank You for Your joy, the gladness of heart, which does not come from having earthly desires, dreams or pleasures, but which is firmly rooted in the knowledge that I am Yours, adopted into Your kingdom, with an eternal future and hope in Christ Jesus! I thank You for the peace of God that surpasses all understanding that is my portion because I am Your child – a peace that draws others nearer to You, to find their peace by surrendering to Your love and joy over their lives.
… gentleness of Jesus Christ.
I pray for an increase of patience in my life, for me to be at peace in the most difficult situations, having an even temper and speaking life into every situation I may encounter. I thank You for more kindness to become visible in my life, as I encounter those around me, growing in a desire to serve others and put others first; never repaying evil with evil but always to have an answer that soothes a hardened heart. I pray that, because of Your great kindness shown on the Cross, I will show forth goodness to others; always think the best of them; and say and believe the best about them. I pray that, because You are faithful, I will learn to be faithful, keeping my word, being disciplined in studying the Word, in prayer and in supplication; loving You with all my heart, mind, soul and strength. In all this, I pray that the gentleness, meekness and humility of Jesus Christ will become increasingly visible in my life; that I will not be intimidated by anything or anyone, but that I will be aware that I am a son/daughter in my Father’s house.
… the Holy Spirit brings self-control.
I pray for the work of Your Holy Spirit to bring self-control in my life at all times, to restrain me from anything that would pain Your heart and separate me from Your sweet Presence. I pray for grace to lay down myself more and more daily, until You rule supreme in my life; for against such things, there is no law that can bring a charge or accusation.
I ask for grace because I belong to You, Lord Jesus Christ, to crucify the flesh – that godless human nature within me – altogether, with its passions, appetites and desires. Grant me favour now that, as I live by the Holy Spirit, I will also walk by the Spirit. For, if by the Holy Spirit we have our life in God, help me to go forward walking in line, my conduct controlled by the Spirit. Protect me from ever becoming vainglorious and self-conceited, competitive, challenging, provoking or irritating to others, envying and being jealous of another person. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.