“The Mark Of A True Disciple”

May 20, 2015

Note: Due to Stephen being out of town for a conference in Washington messages will not be prepared for Thursday and Friday. We expect to resume new messages on Monday, May 25.

Eshelman's Mill Covered Bridge 5/16/15
Saturday morning we caught this scene of the Eshelman’s Mill Covered Bridge.

“The Mark Of A True Disciple”

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.”By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35). “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:18).

Several years ago a commercial popularized the phrase, “I love ya’ man”.  It was an insincere expression with an ulterior motive in selling an evil product.

But we consider those to whom we earnestly express our love as brothers and sisters in Christ. It is that love spoken of by our Lord Jesus in the daily texts. Today consider the special people in your life and let’s truly demonstrate this love for one another. Our world needs to see Christians demonstrating this mark of genuine discipleship at a time when the expression “I love you” has often become meaningless. “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God” (1 John 4:7a).

Christianity is often maligned and ridiculed in many parts of our world and increasingly here in our own country. The secular media and arts often mock our faith in Jesus Christ. Blaspheme the Lord, call it “art”, and you just might get a huge government grant.  Sadly, many of the programs on the “Christian” TV stations are not at all representative about what we believe or practice as a follower of Christ. But millions of genuine disciples of Christ are planted all over the world today living out their faith in relative obscurity, usually seen only by God and those in their small area of influence.

Expressions of love and acts of compassion are continually happening as we “bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Genuine disciples lovingly serving others in the name of Jesus Christ is modeled in the Bible and carried out in the lives of believers day after day. In many cases these are brothers and sisters who reach out to others in Christian compassion yet they have never personally met the recipients of their kind acts or generous gifts.

Before Jesus went to the Cross he gave a lengthy teaching recorded in John’s gospel. In our first daily text He teaches a distinguishing mark of the true disciple: “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  Coming out of Bible College this verse and a small booklet titled “The Mark Of The Christian” by Francis Schaeffer heavily influenced our understanding of Christianity.

As many believers already know, the word “love” in this verse comes from the Greek word “agapé” which speaks of an “in spite of” type of love.  Brooksyne and I were so impressed with this Greek word that we named the church we established in St. Marys, Pennsylvania “AGAPE” in 1977. It took a few years for the community to learn that the name of our church was not speaking of agapé as in “mouth open” but as in “the love of Christ.”

The second daily text somewhat intrigues us for surely there is an appropriate use for verbally expressing love. We believe John is saying, “Let us not love with words or tongue” only, for there is plenty of talk about love and merely saying it is not enough. Genuine disciples expressing genuine love need to back their verbal expressions with loving actions in accordance to God’s Word.  Today, let us indeed love one another and express our genuine discipleship!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, may we be people who are quick to notice the ways in which we can be of special blessing to others. It seems quite easy when it comes to those whom we befriend. We often recognize their need before they express it and find genuine fulfillment in being Your hand extended to them. But You challenge us to go even further in making ourselves available to our enemies with whom it is not natural to provide for their needs. In expressing agapé to those around us we love in spite of what we see or have experienced. May all that we do on behalf of others be an expression of Your heavenly touch extended through Christian human service. It is in Your strength and compassion that we can do that which is unnatural to our human flesh, but natural to our redeemed spirit. Amen.

Today through Friday I (Stephen) will be going to Washington DC for a “Watchman on the Wall” conference sponsored by Family Research Council.  Due to my attendance at this conference we do not expect to post new messages on Thursday and Friday. Although Brooksyne is quite capable of writing them she has not learned the technical steps needed to produce and post them.

Amish couple harvesting hay 5/16/15
This Amish couple is harvesting hay together.
He’s upfront with the baler. She just hitched the team to a second wagon.Friendly horses 5/16/15
We passed these friendly horses the other day.
They appear to be conversing through the fence!

Mother robin 5/17/15
A couple of weeks ago we observed that a resourceful robin had built a nest on our deck porch light. We have a great view looking down on the nest from our bathroom window only about seven feet away. We noticed three eggs as Mother Robin does her duty as God designed.

Baby robin 5/17/15
Sunday we saw the first sign of new life!

Mother robin with baby robins 5/18/15
By Monday afternoon we had two (at least) little hungry mouths. (The white diagonal across the top is my gutter as she has made her nest under my eaves.)

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Be Devoted”  Video   Acappella

“We’re All Here to Learn”  Video   Dailey & Vincent + Jimmy Fortune  Yesterday Brooksyne and I had breakfast at the Crackerbarrel and picked up a new CD by one of my favorite Bluegrass groups, not necessarily her type of music, but we both like this song and the message although it sounds a lot better on the CD.

“I Believe”  Video  Dailey & Vincent  This song really touches my heart

“Beautiful Star of Bethlehem”  Video  The Homecoming singers with a huge robed choir. Tim, a friend of ours, suggested this song in relation to yesterday’s message on “The Bright Morning Star”.

“Daystar (Shine Down On Me)”  Video  Jason Crabb and the GVB  (Another song that would have been appropriate.)

Here’s a better photo of the Eshelman’s Mill Covered Bridge (seen in our lead photo) taken by someone else!

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