1 John 3:16-18 – NIRV
“We know what love is because Jesus Christ gave His life for us. So we should give our lives for our brothers and sisters. Suppose someone sees a brother or sister in need and is able to help them. If he doesn’t take pity on them, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, don’t just talk about love. Put your love into action. Then it will truly be love.”
Similarly to Ephesians 5, today’s verses talk about having Jesus has our example for how to love. The first sentence of this verse is just so powerful for me. Because of Jesus, we know what love is. It doesn’t say we know what love looks like, or what it might be like. We know what love IS. Since we know what love is, we should love others in the same way. It’s the same thing we talked about yesterday. Jesus is love, and since we have seen what Jesus did, we imitate Him. In doing so, we imitate the very essence of love itself.
The verse goes on to talk about when – not if – we see someone in need and we have the ability to help them. It’s not talking about when we see someone in need and we CAN’T do anything to help them. There are probably not going to be many times when we see someone in need and can do absolutely NOTHING to help them, but this verse is not talking about that.
Just this weekend I was at an event called BLAST (Building Leaders And Sharing Talents) and they had a special guest speaker come in. The example he used was of a car key. Cars cannot go anywhere if you do not first put the key in the ignition and start the car. (I suppose you could Hotwire it, but that is usually frowned upon.) As long as the key is not in the ignition, the car’s power remains potential. In the same way, when God gives us an opportunity to help someone and show them what love looks like, and we don’t do it, God’s power remains potential and the opportunity is wasted. But when we hear God speak, and decide to do what he says, God’s power is unleashed in ways stronger than we could have ever dreamed.
On Sunday, my dad was talking about Palm Sunday, and he said something that really challenged me and I was reminded of it when I read this verse. He was talking specifically about the colt’s owners and how they were willing to give up their brand new donkey just because the Lord needed it. What he said was essentially, when God gives you something, hold on to it very loosely, because He might need it back. Everything belongs to God. So when we are willing to let God’s love spill over onto someone else, it shows them love, and it makes our love authentic.
This one was kind of long, but I guess I just want to challenge everyone reading this, to show an authentic love today. Be real, be authentic, be OPEN to what God has to say, and I’ll see you tomorrow.