Submitted by Pastor Tom Beutler Watson, Mo. and Hamburg, Ia. Baptist Churches
1st John 3:16-19 – “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue – but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.”
Today’s world is a dog-eat-dog-world. Most people put themselves first – love themselves, provide for themselves – most people are wrapped up in themselves. The Bible is clear. The way of Christians is to be very different than the ways of the world. We are taught in the Bible that genuine love for the brethren is what God expects. John 13:35, Jesus’ own words: “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye love one to another.” The Bible tells us to love each other! 1st John 3:11, “For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” Jesus sets the standard of loving others. He loves us so much that while we were still his enemies He died for us. John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
The Bible tells us that God’s love knows no boundaries. God’s love sets no limits – it draws no lines. God never says this is as far as I go. True love is love without limits! True love is given free and asks nothing in return. Do we love others like we should? If you ever doubt what true love is, just look at the cross. Jesus showed us true love – it opens its hands and gives away everything it has, to those it loves. That is what love is all about. It does not hold anything back. It meets needs wherever it finds them.
Now, if you know of someone’s need and you don’t have anything to give to help, that’s ok. But if you know of a need and can do something about it, you are obligated to reach out in the Name of Jesus and do all you can. We need to remember God has given us everything we have in life so that we might use it for His Glory! It might be money, materials, or moments of time. God can and will use it all, if we make it available to Him. Real love doesn’t just talk, it acts. Without the cross at Calvary John 3:16 is nothing but empty words. Here is John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
People who talk and do not do anything really do not love. People who love like Jesus loves reach out and help other people. There are many ways we can show our love for other people. Galatians 6:2, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
Lent is part of a great time to be. These weeks, as we come upon the Resurrection Sunday, Lord we thank You, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We thank You for every day, not just for Easter Day, but every day. Where would we be without Your love? All in the Name of Jesus! AMEN!