Let me ask you a question today on God’s behalf: Are you willing to love others the way Jesus commanded us to?
Will you be willing to open your home to others if necessary—to give
of what you have to meet the needs of others in the Body of Christ? Will
you be willing to be a vessel through whom God will give a drink to
somebody who is thirsty? Food to somebody who is hungry? Clothing to
somebody who is naked? Shelter to somebody without a home?
Now please don’t misunderstand me—I am not suggesting that you go out
today and call a real estate agent, sell your house or your apartment,
go to the bank to take out your savings and just throw it all to the
wind. What I am saying is that God, foreseeing the days ahead of us,
knows what we need to hear and consider, for this is what will earmark
the true Church of Jesus Christ. Such was the case in the book of Acts:
“So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread
from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of
heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord
added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:46-47, NKJV).
When it says, “having favor with the people,” I believe it was
exactly what Jesus told His disciples: “By this all will know that you
are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).
Over the past few decades, many have gone to great lengths to try to
prove God’s presence among them. However, it is obedience to this new
commandment that is the evidence! Tongues can be imitated, gifts of the
Holy Spirit can be faked, prophecy can be of the flesh. All of these
things can be fraudulent, but an ongoing, benevolent, self-sacrificing
love for one another cannot be faked—at least not for very long. That is
why if people in the world see the Body of Christ living in genuine
fellowship—a stark contrast to the self-centeredness and divisions of
this generation—they will have no choice but to acknowledge that this
could be done only by the Spirit of God.
Carter Conlon joined the pastoral
staff of Times Square Church in 1994 at the invitation of the founding
pastor, David Wilkerson, and was appointed Senior Pastor in 2001. A
strong, compassionate leader, he is a frequent speaker at the Expect
Church Leadership Conferences conducted by World Challenge throughout