One of Jesus’ notable last words was these, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this, all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”- John 13:34-35.
According to Jesus the only proof of how keen followers of Him are we is in how well we serve one another. Just like fire must produce heat, faith must also result in love for another especially the needy. Fire does not become fire by producing heat (because there are other objects that can produce heat apart from fire), but true fire by its nature must produce heat. We do not become Christians by serving the poor (because one can serve the poor without being a Christian) but to a genuine Christian serving the poor come naturally.
The Greek word “agapao” translated as ‘Love’ in the above scripture actually means ‘meeting the need of the other’. So love is no longer a feeling but an attitude that results into an act of service.
John was Jesus’ closest disciple and friend; He said this: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been created of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not even know God, because God is love. If anyone says, ‘I love God, ‘ and hates his brother, heis a liar; he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him whoever loves God must also love his brother.” (1 John 4:7-8, 20-21)
Paul went even further to say,”…if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Tim. 5:8).
Again, James said love is the only proof of faith. Many believe the only thing one has to be eligible for heaven is confessing and believing Jesus to be the Lord and Saviour. While this is true, it is not the whole truth. Confessing and believing Jesus within itself is not good enough, the scripture says. In fact, even the devil believes, confesses, worships and trembles before God. Nonetheless, still the devil will go to hell because love is not part of His DNA (James 2:19).
“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters,” James says, “if you say you have faith but your faith does not produce results? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, ‘Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well’ – but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.” (James 2:14-17). Jesus said: “Not everyone who calls me, ‘Lord! Lord! ‘ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.” (Matt. 7:21)
As we know already the will of God for us is to love one another. For this reason, James concludes, LOVE is the only proof of a genuine and pure religion before God the Almighty (James 1:27).
Caring for others as you would wish to be cared for yourself (but not demanding others to do the same to you) is the fabric of morality and the backbone of Holy Scripture.