"I got an H," Maribeth yelled as a van with a bumper sticker on the back passed their car. "See that bumper sticker says, Honk if you love Jesus.'" On their family vacation, Maribeth and her brother Gabe were playing a game to see who could be first to find signs that started with each letter of the alphabet.
As Gabe glanced at the van, its driver angrily blasted his horn at another driver who had pulled in front of him. "That guy better change his slogan," observed Gabe. "He sure didn't act very loving."
A little later, they stopped at a country store. "Service with a smile," Gabe read on a sign in the window. "That's an S for me." But they had to wait a long time for service, and then the attendant did a lot of grumbling about the heat. "He forgot the smile," declared Gabe as they drove away.
The next day was Sunday, so they attended a church in the town where they'd spent the night. The sign out in front said, "Friendly Gospel Church." No one greeted them, but they enjoyed the song service, especially the choir number which included the words "They will know we are Christians by our love." The pastor shook hands with them as they left, but no one else did.
As they ate lunch, they talked about the fun they were having on their trip and the things they had seen. "What are some things you've learned while we traveled?" asked Dad.
"Well . . . one thing is that we better live up to what we say," suggested Gabe. "Nobody seemed to do what it said on their signs, even at that church we went to. Their sign says they're friendly, but they really weren't. No one even spoke to us."
Mom nodded. "And what are the things we say that we need to live up to?"
"Well, um . . . that we're Christians," suggested Maribeth. "The choir song said people should be able to tell that by the way we love each other."
"That's what Jesus said, too. And love is also the first thing listed as the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians," said Dad. "All the characteristics mentioned there should be evident in our lives. Let's see how many of them we can remember."
HOW ABOUT YOU?
Can people tell you’re a Christian by the way you show love to others? Do they see that you are friendly? Faithful to the Lord? Quick to serve Jesus and others? Read again the fruit of the Spirit listed in the fifth chapter of Galatians. People should see those characteristics in your life. They should be able to tell that you have something that makes you act in a loving and kind way. Let them know that it’s your relationship with Jesus that makes the difference.
TODAY'S KEY VERSE: (John 13:35)
Jesus said, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”