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The Mark of a True Christian (3 of 4)
Series: Living Like Jesus
OPEN: Several years ago there was an Olympics held in Seattle Washington. And the special event that was talked about for years afterward was the 100 yard dash. Lined up on the starting line were 9 contestants, waiting for the gun to go off. At the gun, the started their run, kind of. For this was the Special Olympics a competition for physically or mentally handicapped people. The nine young men and women were filled with excitement as they ran and laughed and raced to the finish line. But one little boy stumbled on the asphalt. He tumbled over a couple of times and fell on his face and lay there crying. The other eight heard him and slowed down and looked back. Then they all turned around and went back - every one of them. One girl with Down's syndrome bent down and kissed him and said, ''This will make it better.'' Then all nine linked arms and walked together to the finish line. And everyone in the stadium stood, and the applause went on for what seemed like forever.
APPLY: What had that audience seen that day? They had seen love in action. And it had such a powerful effect on them that they stood and applauded.
Jesus told His disciples: ''By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.'' John 13:35 In other words: if we show love by our actions the world will notice, they may even stand and applaud.
Now, this ''loving one another'' was not just some passing comment by Jesus. It became the royal law of the Kingdom. James 2:8 tells us ''If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, 'Love your neighbor as yourself,' you are doing right.''
In fact, love was to become such a crucial part of who we are as Christians that Galatians 5 tells us it is THE MARK of the Spirit bearing fruit in our lives. Galatians 5:22-23 declares ''the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentlen ...
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