“We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. (I John 3:16)
The theme for the rest of the week, beloved reader, is what God and Jesus Christ have done for us. And knowing what the Divine has done, what we should do for one another. However, I am stating my case a little backwards. I am first, through the scripture passage, asserting what we should do for one another.
“How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister[a] in need and yet refuses help?” (Verse 17)
And then, as the week goes on, I am going to show the depth and breadth of God’s love. And if someone has NOT responded to their fellow member of humanity in a kind and compassionate way, then the guilt and shame should be theirs.
“Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.” (Verses 18 – 20)
We can never, however, show as much and compassion as the Divine can. That is because we are not pure love, as God is. And we have not the purity of the power of love that God has. But if we are determined to love and show love to the best of our human ability, we will satisfy the will of God. And the Divine knows this. As the writer of I John said,
“Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.” ( Verses 21-2)
Love and showing love is a planned deliberate act. We talk about “falling” in love. What we really mean is that our hormones and emotions get charged up and, as they say, romance is in the air. But true love is hard work; it is putting the other first. It is laying down and laying aside our agenda. But love is tough. It seeks the good for the other, no matter the cost. God showed that kind of love. Christ showed that kind of love. And the Spirit promotes that kind of love. It is this love that we are called to and to show for one another. It is not easy. No wonder we can’t consistently get it right. But we can try, and trying with all of our body, soul and spirit will satisfy our Lord. May you do so! Selah!