1 John 3: 14-18

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loves not his brother abides in death.

Whosoever hates his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 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 sees his brother have need, and shuts up his bowels of compassion from him, how does the love of God dwell in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

 

James 2: 14-1714

What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

 

These verses go very well together. I am reading the bible together with the fellowship  and involved in a small group, and I am amazed at how the Lord is bringing this point out to us in our collective devotional lives. Especially at this time of the year.

 

John points out that the evidence of our transformation is our love for one another, and James basically says our faith is useless without actions that reach out to the needs of those around us.

 

John uses strong words for believers who don’t love one another…death, hate, murder.

That’s good reason to get this right. I don’t want any of those words to define me. I imagine you feel the same.

 

So, how do we love one another as God would have us to love? He gives us the example of Himself.

“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”

 

Thankfully, Jesus did the hard part. So, then what do we do??

John said,

“But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his bowels of compassion from him, how does the love of God dwell in him?”

James says it like this:

If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?”

 

Our great need was salvation, and Jesus selflessly gave everything he had to meet that need.

We must take Jesus’ example and selflessly meet the needs of others that come across our path.

 

Our love for one another will be manifested in the actions we take to reach out in compassion, kindness and generosity.

Good intensions are not enough.

We must allow the Spirt of God to overcome the selfishness of the old man and move us to action.

When we do this, needs will be met and the name of Jesus will be glorified!!

-Chris Symons-