It is interesting how powerful a symbol can be. There is one particular logo I have seen in many different languages (the one shown above is in Amharic, the most common language spoken in Ethiopia, where I went in 2012). The same is true for the other languages in which I have seen the classic white writing on a red background with that unmistakable swoop. One of the most powerful brands in the world, perhaps the most potent one of the 20th century, is Coca-Cola. Though I cannot read a word of Thai or Arabic or Hindi, whenever I see the Coca-Cola logo in that language, I recognize it immediately.
You know, the kingdom of God has a brand, too. It is a mark of the disciples of Jesus that’s instantly recognizable. Anywhere you go, in any language, in any country, when you see that mark, you know you are dealing with the disciples of Jesus. The logo is love—pure, sacrificial, unpretentous love. “By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35 NIV).
I have powerfully experienced the affections of God in the prayer room recently. It has been a remarkably refreshing time. I am in awe of the peculiar yet deep expressions of the love of God. He reminds me almost on a daily basis that I am “precious” to him, that I am “special,” and that I am his “favorite.” (I know everyone is loved equally by him, but sometimes I feel like his favorite!) It’s like every day he wakes up with a fresh cup full of love for me or a fresh abundance of affection. I don’t know how it works! Why does he get fresh affection to show his tenderness to me on a daily basis? This is a deep mystery of God…
And here’s the kicker. It is not only possible, but commanded, by Jesus for me to love other Christians in this way. “As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34).
Really?! He expects me to love like HIM? It feels like a complete impossibility, but heavenly Father assures me it is doable. I just don’t feel I have that level of affection for others. I stand and gaze upward, up the mountain-like slopes of the love of Jesus. They seem so high, so steep … and yet he echoes back, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:29-30). It is not out of reach for me to show love to others as the Lord does … not only sacrificially, but from a place of truly taking joy in them.
Does that really mean telling others on a daily basis how valuable and precious they are to me? Perhaps I could do a little more of that as a part of my daily walk ….
Pray with me today:
Jesus, you’ve given me a new command: to love others. The same way you loved me, I must love others. That way, it will be obvious to everyone that I am your disciple, if I love others. I open my heart today to receive Your love for me, and I choose to love others like You love me. Let that be the mark of Your Kingdom on my life.