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Sisterhood in Christ

John 13:35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.


Jesus spoke these words at the Last Supper. This verse follows His new command to the disciples to love one another, as He had loved them (verse 34).


Think about how Jesus had loved His disciples up to this point at the Last Supper, and how He would go on to love them on the Cross and walking with them after the Resurrection!


We are perfectly loved by Jesus.


We go through life trying to find "our people," trying to surround ourselves with people who will love us, see us, support us, understand us. Often, we feel alone, unloved, and misunderstand. We are desperately seeking to be known and loved by others.


But what we search for in a perfect friend or spouse, we already have in Jesus!


All we could ever need, all we could ever desire, is found in Him.


Today, do you need peace? Jesus is Peace.

Do you need wisdom? Jesus is Wisdom.

Do you need love? Jesus is Love.

Refuge? Comfort? Help? Trust? Rest? Clarity? Jesus is all that we need.


God built us with these desires that can only be truly satisfied in Him.


Yet, Jesus doesn't say, "I'm all you need so forget about everyone else."

No, in John 13:35, He tells us to love one another and that is how everyone will know that we follow Him. He gives us a family of believers to walk this journey with us.


How have you been loved by your sisters in Christ?

How has God shown His love for you through your sisters in Christ?


When my second child didn't sleep for his entire first year of life, and I fed him every hour and a half so he would stop crying, it was a sister in Christ who offered to take him overnight to give me rest.


When my husband and I needed marriage counseling, it was a sister in Christ who watched our kids every session (and God used that marriage counseling to bring my husband into real relationship with Him!!!).


When I was weighed down by shame and anger from past sins and past wounds, it was my sisters in Christ in a healing journey group whose words brought me to find freedom in Jesus, to truly know His love and forgiveness for the very first time!


When I am really struggling as a mom and a wife, it's my mentor, a sister in Christ, who listens and prays and advises me.


When I was suffering from Lyme's disease this past summer and could not do a single thing for my family, it was my sisters in Christ who provided meals and physical help for my family.


When I am confused in my faith, it is my sisters in Bible study who point me back to the truth of God's Word, who He is, and who I am in HIm.


When I feel like a complete failure as a mom, it is my sisters in Christ, who are in the parenting struggle with me or who have gone ahead, who stir me up to endure in the good work God has brought me and to cheer me on.


When I was despairing and went to the McDonald's playground with my three young sons, just to get a break, God sent a sister in Christ, a stranger to me at the time, and we had the most beautiful, transparent, and heart-lifting conversation right there in the playland.


When I was feeling discouraged this past spring, it was the words in a card sent through the mail from a sister at church, delivered on the exact day I need to hear them, that helped me turn back to God and His goodness.


It's often a text, a hug, a prayer, active listening, a meal...


This is the way God continues to show His love to me, to pursue me. He loves me personally, and He loves me through my sisters in Christ. This is how we are to love one another. And this is how everyone will know that we follow Jesus, by loving each other well.


In Psalm 16:1, David writes, "I say to the Lord, 'You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.'" Without God, I have nothing good. All good things in my life come from Him.


In the next verse, David goes on to write, "I say to the holy people who are in the land, 'They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.'" I delight in God first and foremost, and I delight in His holy people, His family of believers, who bring me such delight in Him.


So how do we get to this place to love each other as Jesus loves us? How do we learn to sacrificially love one another?


First, we must embrace how much Jesus loves us. He loves you. He really loves you. There is no condemnation in Him. He loves you in every moment of your brokenness.


Loving each other as Jesus loves us is a huge calling, and it is only through His Spirit and in His strength that we can do it. We must operate from this place of first realizing how much He loves us, before we can love others with His kind of love.


Second, I believe it takes vulnerability and transparency. You have to be real to have real relationships. This is what brings connection. It means coming together in our broken messiness. It's confessing to one another and praying for one another.


Today, I challenge you to be brave, to have courage to be transparent, without fear of anyone's response. There's no guarantee someone will respond in the way you need, and that can be scary. I have had that happen to me, where I pour out my heart, and I don't get the response I was hoping for. But more often, I have found sisters who love me with Jesus' love. Your transparency will often spark others to be more transparent, and then we can connect and love each other well.


Third, it takes intentionality and time to get to know your sisters in Christ. How can we love each other if we don't know each other?


Look for opportunities in your local church. Get involved in a Bible study. Serve in a ministry. I have found the easiest way to build relationships is to serve alongside someone. Bonding happens naturally as you work toward a common goal. There is a way to serve in your local church, at any age, at any life stage, with any gifts and talents. Check out a Bible Study Fellowship group near you (bsfinternational.org). Through this in-depth Bible study, you will be in God's Word with other believers. As you grow in your relationship with God, you will also grow in relationship to your sisters in Christ.


Reflect. Take time to think about how you have been loved by God through your sisters in Christ. Turn it into praise to Him today! How can you further develop these kinds of relationships?


Thank You, God, for my sisters in Christ. Thank you for putting me into a family of believers. Thank You for loving me through them. Help me to love sacrificially. Help me to see my sisters in Christ and love them as you have loved me. Give me courage to live authentically with them. In Jesus' Name, Amen.






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