Today, I sit here and really don’t have much to write, so I’m going to just write and hope the good Lord leads me to send a message that is and at the moment I am thinking of 1 John 3:16.
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 and sisters.
Not to be confused with the far more commonly know John 3:16. this verse has a similar meaning. However, it takes us a little further. Jesus displayed pure love when he went to the cross to for the redemption of our sins, but how many of us would die for another person. It doesn’t matter what belief system you hold this is across the board seen as the ultimate sacrifice. To its core, it’s pure sacrifice. Nonetheless, we live in a selfish society, even the most generous among us fall short of this. Every once in a while we see stories of people laying down their lives for other people, most commonly withing our military and first responders, but one thing I take from this is we look at a verse like this and we immediately think of the ultimate sacrifice, but God does not want us to go about our days to look for chances to take a bullet for a brother or sister, but He does want us to go about our days looking for ways to honor Him. We can look at this verse and take away the extreme, but there is still great value in laying down one’s efforts in submission to the will of God. If we walk around our houses today we will see a lot of things we do not need and have many things that we have that out neighbors do not have. If you continue to read 1 John it states,
If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
What we do far too often is say we love someone, but do not show it. While for example when I was at a store with my wife I said I loved her, and I truly do, but I sat there and was selfish. I did not want to be in the store any longer. Rather than communicating why I did not want to be there I acted like a child, and not only made my time with her worse, I made her upset in the process. I did not intend to hurt her feelings I just wanted to leave. Now my wife and I truly love each other and got past it. However, in that moment my actions and my expressions relayed a different story. Likewise, we can say we care about others around us, but out actions say differently. Take for example how we vote, how we give, and how we ignore those around us. How many times do we see a homeless person and have the ability to give, but continue to walk? How many time have we complained about a higher tax, but the money is going to help others?
Now, in reality, most of us do the right thing the majority of the time and love thy neighbor but it still does not mean we should not look back and assess what we could do more. There should never come a point where we stop trying to become better, serve the Lord better. There should be a desire within us all to improve ourselves and strive to love better, strive to be better disciples, and find ways to move forward the body. When we love we become the hands of the body which reach out and give. Love leads us to become the feet that go the extra mile. It’s love that allows us to be the heart of compassion.