Our scripture this morning is 1 John 3:14-24.
If we love our brothers and sisters who are believers, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead. Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them. We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him. And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us.
John writes that love is at the core of every worthwhile relationship. We know what real love is because we see it in the life of Jesus, in His teachings and His actions. As Jesus gave His life for us, we must be ready to give our lives for others.
Note that this does not necessarily mean to die for others. Yes, we should be willing to do so because of Christ’s sacrifice for us, but we should be ready to give of our lives on a daily basis. John tells us if one sees “a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?” (v. 17).
How can we say we would give our life for another but be unwilling to spend a few minutes or a few dollars to meet their need? We can’t erase issues by ourselves in most cases, but we can make a difference. God calls us to work together as the body of Christ and it is together that we will bring the world to Him.
Gracious God, help us to be Your light and love in a broken world. May we be the image of Jesus to those who need to know Your love and care. Amen.