Friday, March 27, 2009

What Does Christianity Look Like?

by Guest Contributer Dawn Miller, of Kingshighway Family Worship Center

This Week’s Verse: John 13:35 “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (NIV)

Listening to the radio on my way to work this morning I heard the question, “what does Christianity look like?” Immediately I started to really think about the answers to such a profound question. What does it look like? Does it look the same for all? Do I look like a Christian?

As I pondered these things, scriptures began to flood my mind: “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another,” (John 13:35, NIV); and Mark 12:29-31 tells us that there is no greater commandment than to first love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength; second love your neighbor as yourself. (KJV)

Could it be? Love is the face of Christianity. That’s what it looks like. We have so often confused dress code and such as the thing that defines Christianity, but we could not be more wrong. You see, I can wear scrubs and a stethoscope around my neck but that does not make me a nurse. There is so much more to it than that. Please don’t misunderstand my point, I still believe in modesty and an appearance of excellence. However, what we wear does not define who we are. We do not wear Christianity. It is the heart of who we are.

To be a Christian means to be Christ-like. It means to follow Him and portray His characteristics. The Bible clearly gives us the essence of who God is. “God is Love;” (I John 4:16, KJV). Therefore, love defines Christianity. As I stated earlier, Jesus said that they will know that you are His if you have love one for another. We must first and foremost love God, but secondly we must love others.

So yes, Christianity may be “dressed” differently from one individual to another, but it must always look like LOVE.

Father, first I thank you for your amazing love and how you made and continue to make the ultimate expression to each of us. I ask that you fill us with your love so it may flow through us allowing others to know that we are Yours. Help each of us be a reflection of You so others will come to know You through a demonstration of Your love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Application: Christianity is not something that we wear but is the essence of who we are--or might I say--whose we are. Our lives must reflect the LOVE of Jesus Christ because that is what defines us. As you reflect on whether or not you "look" like a Christian, see past the surface and ask God to help you examine your heart. LOVE is the required uniform.

Power Verses:
Mark 12:29-31
, “'The most important one,' answered Jesus, 'is this: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.'” (NIV)
I John 3:10, “This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.” (NIV)
I John 4:8, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (NIV)
I John 4:12, “No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.” (KJV)


Kathy said...

Thanks, Dawn, for reminding us what separates us from the world: LOVE. With all the evil and injustice in this fallen world, loving--truly loving others the way Jesus loves us--is what sets us apart. I know it's a constant battle for me to do that and I fail many times a day, but that IS what we're commanded to look like.

Melissa Milbourn said...

Girlfriend, you can play the drums and write well too?!?!

i loved this devo the first time I read it, and it moves me every time I read it.

As Steven Curtis Chapman says, "It's all about love, love, love, love, love"

Christa said...

I just want to say thank you for listening to what the Lord placed inside of you. You have blessed me with this devotional and have touched my heart. I just wanted you to know what blesses me the most is the fact I know you, and I know your heart. Anyone who meets you knows that you live live LOVE. God is LOVE...and I see Him in you. Thank you for sharing your heart.