Love is Active

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

1 John 3:16-18

We now come to an amazing text regarding love and what it really is.  The concept of Christian love, love of our brother or sister, is not merely an abstract idea; it is a reality of life that requires action. John gives us the model of Christ as the example of what love looks like in action.  Jesus loved us, and so He set His own life aside so that we might live.  In the same way, John calls upon us to set aside our own lives for the sake of others.  This may not necessarily require our physical death, for there is more to the teaching of Christ than that.  It will most certainly require that we set our interests aside to serve others.

John uses the specific example of one who has material resources sharing them with a brother or sister who is in need. How can we possibly sit by and let our brother or sister suffer when we have the means to bring relief; to do so is not showing the person love.  We can think of other circumstances in which we may have what a hurting person might need, and we must not withhold aid, even though giving aid can be quite inconvenient.  Very often these days, we may come across a brother or sister who has emotional pain, and we must be ready to give whatever comfort and relief that we can.

Whatever the particular case may be, we must understand that loving one another doesn’t simply mean to be nice, it means to put others first in thought, and deed as well as in words. This is what it means to follow Jesus Christ; this is what it means to love one another!

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About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
This entry was posted in Bible and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Love is Active

  1. Pingback: Love is Active | A disciple's study

  2. pipermac5 says:

    Someone at church gave me an anonymous love-gift last Sunday for the ministry. They are showing love in a very tangible way.

  3. Kitsy says:

    I’m driving through ************, watching the gas gauge because I am just about out of gas. I have about a dollar seventy five to my name and I’m making plans.

    There’s a gas station at the ********** exit on 25 and I’m thinking of offering to clean the bathroom in exchange for two gallons of gas.

    I’m recording this because I’m thinking about what it’s like to live like this…for the people who live like this every day of their lives, and can’t get out of the downward spiral.

    All of my life I have come across people who live this way, hand to mouth. I have to admit that I have very often thought that they somehow deserve to live this way, either because they were wasteful and stupid or because they had an entitlement mentality. By that I mean they were so used to social programs that there was no other way to live. They didn’t seem to know how to take care of themselves.

    God was I wrong. There is no dignity in this. Yes, I have been stupid and wasteful. But, I believe it takes more strength to hold your head up, survive this, and ask for help than it does to work a hard paying job.

    I will make it through this. I know I will. I’m having to convince my daughter that she, too, will survive this because she, too, is overdrawn and facing rent day. But I’m also having to teach her that this is a God lesson in humility. This whole scenario is destroying my pride. And that is a good thing…a God thing.

    To identify with the people who live on the streets or in their cars or in 60 year old house trailers with the floors falling in… it’s a good place to be.

    God, forgive me for all those times when I have felt superior to people who have nothing. Forgive me for making them feel bad by looking the other way or not smiling, for not looking them in the eyes and not offering to help.

    And for all those empty headed idiots who say people who live on the street do so because they want to…I can’t think of a curse strong enough for them.

    Well, I did it. I stopped at the Green River exit and asked the attendant if I could clean the bathrooms for two gallons of gas. She first calculates how much two gallons is going to cost, asks me where I’m going, and how many miles I get to a gallon. She then tells me she’s already cleaned up and they close in 10 minutes, so, “no.” I wait. She waits back. So I leave, with no gas.

    I drove 40 to 50 miles on an empty tank. The miracle of Hanukkah, all over again.

    I’m now at my daughter’s apartment where it’s warm. It’s 19 degrees outside and I’m thinking about the people broken down by the side of the road, or ‘sleeping’ under bridges, or in their cars, or even in shelters. I beg God to bless them, if not in this life then in the next one. And, please, if they sleep, may they know in their dreams that someone is sorry, very sorry, that someone cares for them even if there is nothing she can do to help, and that she loves them.

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