Love is the Identifier by Pastor Shari Stephens 0

As believers there is a part of our lives that are actually lived in the open, lived for others to see.  We, unlike the celebrities of the world, may not have paparazzi chasing after us but still, there is a visibility that we have when we confess Christ.

The Bible puts it like this, in II Corinthians 2:14-16,

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life.”

We are His aroma in this earth and everyone can catch whiff.  That means everyone around us will always be aware of something about us.  That “Christ element” will always be on display.  That is unfortunately why so many people claim to be hurt by members of the church.  These people say with their mouths they belong to Christ, but their actions state otherwise.  I would say, that this is one of the greatest deception of the devil.  To have imposters in places where God’s people should be and to hurt rather that to heal the broken.

John 13:35 says,

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Christ says that our love is what will be the identifying force of our discipleship.  John make the point even stronger here.  I john 4:20 says,

“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

This is very direct and very clear.  John makes no bones about it, if you hate anyone yet claim to love God, you are a liar.  You cannot love an unseen God if you don’t love your brother and sister’s that you can see around you.

Think about it like this, when the man asked Christ “who is my neighbor” after answering that He should love his neighbor as himself, Jesus when into the story of the Good Samaritan.

The Samaritan, whom he was raised to despise, was actually the hero of the story.  The Samaritan was the one who behaved most like a neighbor instead of all the pious people who passed and left the wounded man for dead.

You are to be the fragrance of Christ.  His fragrance is Love.  Your words and your actions should be that of love for everyone one on this planet, period! This is how God feels about them.  Despite their sin, their differences, their challenges.  They are to be loved by us, even as we love ourselves.

What a challenge for us!

The only way you can do this is to truly love God.  When you love Him, He will do a work in your heart to cause you to love those around you.  It is His fragrance, remember?  Not your own.  Yours stinks just like theirs does.  It is when Christ is in you and working on your heart that you can get a taste of the divine nature and share love for those around you.

This is when the whiff of death comes upon those who reject Christ.  Not because of your judgement and condemnation for them but rather because they have rejected the love and the truth of the God who you belong to.

What’s your fragrance today?  If you aren’t there yet, ask the Lord.  Help me to love the more Lord.  Help me to love you more, so that I might love my neighbor more! Help me to be truly seen as your disciple.

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