1 John 3:16-18
Members of our church have family in Mexico, and last year we sent used clothing down to be given out to needy people. We got a report back that a young man in Mexico was thrilled to receive a pair of jeans that we had determined to be too ratty and torn for our son. It is amazing how much of the material possessions, the abundance of food and space for living, the comforts of our life we take for granted.
We do not need to go far to find others who would benefit from our excess. They can be blessed by our gifts with very little sacrifice on our part. Yet we so often overlook the opportunity to show love by providing for others.
In this letter from John we see examples of how to live out our love. What did Jesus do as an example for us? How can the love of God be in us? What is the final instruction offered?
As always we can turn to Christ to see how we are to live and love. Jesus sacrificed his very life so that we might be blessed, so that we might receive forgiveness and the fullness of God’s mercy. It was an act of love.
We are commanded to love. Are we to lay down our life for others? I believe the answer is that we should, if necessary. And if we do not lay down our life, we can give our life by being in constant service to others in need. We may not have to physically die to show love, but love can be expressed by putting our own wants and comforts aside, even if only for a little while, so that others may benefit. Love can be shown by giving away our excess without hesitation or complaint.
How can we look on the poor and needy and then turn away? That same question haunted me during our mission trip to Haiti. When I witnessed the abject poverty of the people, especially the children, I asked myself how it could be possible for me to walk away.
We are urged to love, not just with words, but with actions. Wherever and whenever possible we should, as Christians, do whatever we can to help those in need. That is how the love of God lives in us. That is how we love one another.
DAILY CHALLENGE: How can the love of God in you be expressed through acts of love?