Love in Action
Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 135:1-7 | Dan 11:2-35 | 1 John 3:7-24 | Proverbs 29:1
Today’s Scripture Focus: 1 John 3:7-24
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.  If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?  Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:16-19 NIV)
The identifying mark of a true follower of Christ is love.This love, always more than a feeling that comes and goes, is evidenced in practical ways through our actions.
Christ is our example. He gave his very life to prove his love for us. That kind of sacrificial love is the standard he set for us to follow. His sacrificial act of laying down his life for us is the very definition of the love; the standard he calls us to follow with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
When a brother or sister in Christ is in need and we fail to have pity on him or her–when we fail to do what we are able to do to sacrificially meet the need—how can the love of God be in us? God sees the need and expresses his heart through the hands and feet of his people through acts of sacrificial love—laying down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
This is not to say that we have no discernment about those who would take advantage of our generosity. There are some for whom a handout could be counterproductive and keep them from living responsibly. There are undoubtedly times when tough love is necessary for the good of the individual who takes advantage of the generosity of others, yet in all cases the heart of God for us is that we follow the way of Christ’s sacrificial love.
We should not grasp too tightly to money and possessions. We are stewards of the good gifts we have been given. If the love of God is in us, we will demonstrate that love not just through words but also with actions and in truth.
Words are not enough. True love is demonstrated by practical actions when we bring the compassion and love of the father to those in need.