1 John- Love is a sign of Life- Are you dead or alive?
I love the song from Bethel Music, "You make me come alive." I suppose it is so much truth for what has happened in my life.....He made me come to life! And He promised He would....I have come so that you may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10). As I was continuing on this journey through 1 John chapter 3, I found this message continues:
We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 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 (14-15). Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth (18).
We know that we have passed from death to life by LOVE! Love is the fruit of those who live in Him. And love is action. When we love, we do! Don't we? Don't we demonstrate love for our children in the ways we give or the ways we provide or the way we love on them and kiss their scratched up knees or the way we cry with them in their disappointments? Don't we demonstrate love for the men in our lives and our families? We are there to celebrate new babies and weddings and graduations with those we love. We are there to offer our arms and tears when the storms hit, just the same. A heart of love demonstrates it, because love calls us to action.
Continuing to Verse 17 we see a picture of love for thy brother: If anyone has material possessions and sees someone in need, but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?
I saw this today as I was passing by a woman with a sign saying that she was broke and needed money. For years, I have passed by people like her and wondered how did you end up here or are you seriously in need or abusing the system or are you dangerous? We often judge these people not knowing where they have been, or what tragedy has led them to such a place of desperation. Today, I searched my car for food or money, and my heart desperately wanted to take her to a shelter.....a heart of pity even though I had little to offer. Maybe she is abusing the "system" by trying to escape responsibility and getting hand outs instead, but even if she is, that must be an awful place to live? Far from the full life He promised! Perhaps, as we show her love, we move her too from a place of death to life? Or perhaps, she is Jesus in disguise seeing if we are feeding His sheep?
This chapter ends with something a little interesting......When we know that we belong to the truth, we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything (19-20).
I think it is important to recognize that we can fall prey to the guilt trap believing that we aren't doing enough or are enough, but it says here that when the heart condemns us, we are to rest in His presence knowing that He is greater than our heart and knows everything. Condemnation does not come from God! So when we pass by a person that we have nothing to offer that is in need, we need not walk in condemnation believing we have failed, but rather that He knows our heart and it's motives; He knows that we have shown pity (17). There is not condemnation in God, but possibly there is a little conviction that calls us to put some "Kingdom" cash in our wallet set aside for a time such as this? I met a man once that said he put $20 a week in his wallet that was simply for "kingdom business." Each week, he asked to be led by the spirit to a person that he could bless in a small way....a free lunch, gas, or just picking up someones loaf of bread and milk in the grocery line. He had endless stories of how his little bless had great impact. That is a love heart.....seeking to be a blessing that may lead others to life!
This week I dare you to find one person each day to be a blessing....a note, a hug, a lunch, some gas....find someone in need and bless them. May I pray a blessing over each of you that choose to sow a blessing each day forward that you too will reap a harvest!!!
Seek. Love. Follow.
In His Wings, Ro