Skip to main content

Be the means

This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves. If you see some brother or sister in need and have the means to do something about it but turn a cold shoulder and do nothing, what happens to God’s love? It disappears. And you made it disappear. (I John 3:16)

Wouldn't it be terrible if God's love disappeared from this earth? What is the need you walk by today? It may seem insignificant at the time, but each 'passed-by' need is one less expression of God's love to a hurting and very needy world. Living sacrificially doesn't come easy to us, does it? Who do we think about first on most occasions? Do we cook dinner because we think the family is hungry even when we are probably not hungry ourselves? Do we speed ahead, closing the gap in traffic as cones are directing traffic down to one lane and that yahoo on your right has sped ahead of everyone trying to get in between you and the car in front of you, bypassing his 'rightful' place in line? Do we slow down to talk to a small child reveling in the discovery of a punch of dandelions, plucking those white blobs of billowing seeds one by one and letting them go aloft into the air without scolding or shooing him away? God's love isn't hard to express, but sometimes we might not realize there is an opportunity to 'give sacrificially' when we listen to our inner voice of 'flesh'. We won't want to make dinner because we aren't hungry. We won't give an inch to let that 'interloper' into the traffic merge. We will send the child away in the name of 'weed control'. God's love will have disappeared as easy as that.

Do we have 'means' to do something about the need of another? Most of the time we think of 'means' as financial ability, but more often than not the need is met by other means. Time, talent, and yes, even our invested treasure - all are a 'means' by which the need may be met. Turning a cold shoulder to a need is a lot easier sometimes than taking the time to meet the need. It is easier to send the kiddo down the street to revel in someone else's yard than it is to take time to laugh and encourage his sense of discovery. It is unlikely that one car in front of you will make a difference in the time it takes you to get to your destination, but it could make all the difference in the time he needs to get to his. It isn't that you are the only one who can cook that meal for the family, but they sure enjoy what you make more than you might realize. We have the 'means' to meet so many needs without even having to dip into our pocketbooks, my friends. 

Love one another as I have first loved you - does this sound familiar? Jesus spoke those words to his disciples and those who were within hearing distance. The instruction he gave was actually recorded so all of us could 'hear' them at some point. The rest of that verse tells us it is how others will know we are loved by God and that we are his disciples (learning at his feet, living by his truth, and trusting in him with all we've got). (John 13:34-35) For love to disappear, we just need to ignore this instruction. God doesn't expect us to do more than he did - he expects us to do what he did and in turn, what seems like it won't be 'more' than what he did, his love is multiplied - making it more! Love is meant to be multiplied - through us by his movement in and through us. If we miss the opportunity today, the 'multiplication' factor is interrupted. So, don't miss the opportunity to see this love thing multiplied - you are God's means of loving a hurting world. Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

Do me a favor

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. (Philippians 2:1-4) Has God's love made ANY difference in your life? What is that difference? Most of us will likely say that our lives were changed for the good, while others will say there was a dramatic change. Some left behind lifestyles marked by all manner of outward sin - like drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, or even thievery. There are many that will admit the things they left behind were just a bit subtler - what we can call inward sin - things like jealousy,